Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11/01: Where was I?

I, of all people, woke up early.  I had nowhere to be.  I turned on the Television.  I soon realized, something terrible was happening.  There was smoke billowing out of one building, and the news anchors were describing that a plane had hit the building.  I sat there watching the events unfold.  At some point, my roommate Justin came in and said, he was going to class.  I told him what had happened, and he just looked at me like I was overreacting, said, "OK," and left.  About that time, the second plane hit the second tower, and every second of it was shown on television!  I sat there as long as I could, watching things unfold.  This is when, the news anchors started announcing, the United States is under attack! Reports started coming in of other planes that were having issues. Then, all flights were grounded.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the music department had blocked at time for convocations and recitals at 11:00am. I walked into the recital hall that day just a little before 11am. It was really quiet. No one was talking. Finally, Dr. Todd Sullivan came out and stated something.  I don't really remember what he was trying to say, because I was in my own head at the time.  I'm sure all of my fellow students were, also.  His statement was something about staying calm.  We were all going to be just fine.  It all seems so trite now. I have no clue what the recital was that day.  I know I sat through it.  It may have even been a vocal recital, now that I think about it.
Afterward, the men of Phi Mu Alpha were having one of their cookout fundraisers out in the back of the Center for Performing and Fine Arts, the CPFA.  We all went out back to eat, and finally started talking to each other.  Some people were scared. Some people were angry. Most of us were just confused.  Why?  Why would someone do this?  Why would they attack buildings in New York City?  Why the Pentagon?  Why kill so many innocent people?  The questions just go on and on.
I'll be honest. Seeing all of these people saying, "NEVER FORGET!" really annoys me.  This is why. How could I ever forget?  All of us that were alive on that day, and over the age of 5, will always remember.  We will never forget the friends, the family, the coworkers, the firefighters, the EMT's, all of those people that died.
Then, there was the war that came from it.  All of the men and women that have died to fight for our freedom.  The freedoms to be religious or not. The freedoms to love who we want to love.  The freedoms to vote how we want to vote.
How would I ever forget?
The problem is not forgetting.  It's teaching the next generation about that day.  As soon as the generations that were alive die out, then, the forgetting begins. Teach the children about freedom. Teach the children love.
It shouldn't be, "NEVER FORGET!!!"
It should be, "Teach the children!"  

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