Tuesday, September 11, 2012

With a Heavy Heart: Remembering 9-11

My heart always gets heavy this time of year. On September 11, 2001, it started out a typical day at the house. I hadn’t made my move to Georgia yet (I was still in Mississippi); that was due in about a month and a half. I hadn’t too long gotten up and put the pot on, so that Grandma and I would have our ritual of morning coffee together. The TV was on, and I saw the news as they were reporting it. It just didn’t seem real, at first. I cannot even begin to, nor would I want to imagine, the horror those people felt—on the planes and in the buildings. How do you make a choice between the impact of a plane and the impact of the ground as you jump out of a building? What about the people close by to witness it…seeing the plane, seeing people jump, the smoke, and debris—to see that and it not have an impact on your mind, body, and soul? I remembered my internship in New York back in 1998. I was bright eyed and had never been too far away from MS or the surrounding area. It was quite a struggle for my Honors advisor to convince my grandparents, especially my grandma, that the exposure to this city and the opportunity would be good for me. I walked around like a happy tourist, trying to capture all the pictures and experiences I could in the span of two and a half months. The time flew by way too quickly, and I had many pictures that were postcard worthy.

The pictures of the Twin Towers have more meaning with each passing year.
I know the development of The Freedom Tower is supposed to serve as a message to the terrorists—that despite what they did, we are still here. I don’t want to throw salt on what they are trying to do—it is a very admirable thing indeed. However, I long for the Twin Towers to be as they were as opposed to a brand new building. Or even to leave the space be—as even more reverence to what was lost. I miss her. I miss the person I was supposed to meet.   She was from the NY area. I do wonder if I had permitted her to make the trip to see me around my birthday, rather than my talking her out of it and telling her to save her money (since she had just got the internship near there), would she still be around? What type of friendship could she and I have built outside the confines of Yahoo messenger, E-mail, and the occasional phone calls? Now I will never know. …and I will never forget. Peace.


Reggie said...

On September 11th 2001 I lived in Bloomfield, New Jersey. I went to work and when the first plane hit The Trade Center I was standing in one of our IT offices arguing with one of their managers over whether the first plane hit the WTC intentionally or not. When I told him it was deliberate, he told me I was paranoid. He was a major in the US Army Reserves and when the second plane hit (while we were talking) he became speechless. A year later he was stationed at Guantanamo Bay.

I was angry that day, like many people. I lived close enough to New York City to watch WTC burn in the distance for weeks. That just wasn't a good time for most of us.

The only positive thing that came out of it for me was how people of color were suddenly "recognized" as Americans by a large segment of society that never acknowledged us as Americans before. Of course, that love affair only lasted a couple of months.

A couple of months later I actually flew down to Florida and when I sat in my seat, I noticed a few of the men making eye contact with me. When before I'm sure they wouldn't have even looked around a plane. I guess they were trying to figure out who was gonna help them stop the terrorists....if there were some.

No Labels said...

Yeah, for those few months, no color was seen. We were all truly united then; it's too bad that type of unity didn't stick around.

I'm sorry you had to witness it so close up ((hugs))