It is hard to believe it has been ten years. I’m not much one for doing what everybody does, and today everybody who blogs, writes, etc, and even those who don’t are saying their piece about September 11. This is taken from something I wrote a few years ago, some may recognize from other fora.
For a long time after September 11, 2001, I remembered what it felt like on September 10, 2001. It was different then, and I wish I could remember that feeling now. It was something like innocent freedom and cockiness and self-confidence about America and America’s future and fearlessness and speaking your mind and standing up for what was right. And the worst thing in the world was AIDS and nuclear power and those things were real, things you could see (even if it is through a microscope) and touch. Things were getting better every day and there was hope for everything and everywhere. You could research it, work toward an alternative, go without and ask others to do the same.
It was so weird that morning. The phone rang three minutes before my alarm clock went off. It was one of my closest friends, his brother had been watching Good Morning America in our home town in Wisconsin and saw everything–the early coverage that reported the first impact as an accident, the second impact that announced to the World that this was no accident, the Pentagon. He woke his parents up after the second impact and at some point he called his brother in Cali.
It was my day off from classes so I was “sleeping in” to 7:30. I remember a sick feeling in my stomach when the phone was ringing. For some reason, I had a bad feeling about that call, I didn’t want to answer. (That’s happened to me just a few times in life and it is always something bad.) I actually laughed with relief when my friend told me what had happened, for a split second it was ridiculous and far away. Not my dad, not his dad, not our home town.
I spent the day like most other people did, glued to the TV, calling and emailing friends and family, wondering where the hell our leadership was. (“Undisclosed Secure Location”) I remember going to aerobics class, not to blow off steam, but in search of some sense of direction, someone who would answer a question. How pathetic is it when our government has let us down so much people are looking to an aerobics instructor to tell them what to do?
The thing I can’t remember any more is what it used to feel like. That feeling that no problem was too big, no solution to small or out of reach. What it felt like to believe in a new century, a new millennium. What it felt like to be a fresh faced, smiley, educated, hopeful American on September 10, 2001.