I'm a very heavy sleeper by nature when I get to sleep. Five years ago my sleep patterns were slightly better then they were now. I say slightly because I would fall asleep a bit earlier but it was harder for me to wake up, actually a lot harder, I need three alarm clocks on various areas of the room. Anyway.
So my mom comes into the room going 'the Trade Center towers have been bombed!'
Now I was half asleep since she woke me up but I knew what the Trade Center towers were even in my groggy state so I rushed to the television room just in time to see the first tower collapse. About 30 minutes later I see the second tower fall and my mom is telling me I need to get ready to go to school. I do not want to go but I leave the television and get dressed in a daze.
The van (our school picked us up in vans) comes and gets me. The driver is listening to the radio and all the other kids are listening to their disc mans. I listen to the radio with her and she says to the kids "I have the radio on, you don't need to listen to your radios (all their disc mans had radios), it's the same story". One kid goes "we don't want to listen to this news, we want to listen to our music!". The van driver never really liked me but I think we bonded over the arrogance and the self absorbed views of some kids.
Halfway to school they call the driver and tell her to take us home. My school isn't far from Downtown and they were evacuating it for fear of it happening to us (it's Los Angeles). So she takes us home and I immediately head to the television and don't leave it except to go to the bathroom. I taped about...48 hours of news and I don't plan on taping over it.
A hour or so later my dad came home, he worked in City Hall East and they evacuated his building naturally, he had to walk down the stairs and he was on a high level.
I remember the days following September 11th. Anybody that even looked Middle Eastern got harassed. I saw some Jewish boys harassing another boy who was working in the local 7-11. Many of the people working in the local 7-11s are Islamic so many of those people were being verbally abused, being called terrorists and such. They were losing a lot of business so I made a point to do a lot of minor shopping there, these guys have always been nice and suddenly they were terrorists? They put American Flags out just like everybody else, they were just as saddened by what happened as the rest of the world (I say the world because the world was saddened, not just the United States)
After September 11th a lot of my mom's friends kept saying that we should 'bomb the whole lot of them' or 'just wipe all those countries off the map'. Um what the hell? Yeah, I'm agnostic but I know some of the bible and I know that God does not condone killing off your fellow man. What you are condoning is genocide. You would be no better then Adolf Hitler if you did that, he killed millions and you want to wipe out a whole religion? What the hell is that all about?
It was wonderful seeing America band together after September 11th but it also made me sad to see how it took a terrible tragedy for it to happen. Can't we be a united country like that all the time? We quickly went from 'united we stand' to...back to before ya know?
I also hate how the actions of some of our government and private citizens has made most of the world view us as...well I don't know about terrible but I guess 'arrogant' would be the right word? They would be right though, I don't really think most of the country is arrogant though. Everybody is a little arrogant right? What makes America so arrogant looking to the rest of the world is how we think we are the center of the world, we think we are the top dog and the best there is. We have so many allies that helped us out during September 11th and other disasters and we have taken it for granted. I'm not talking about the whole country of course.
Okay I really didn't want that to turn into a political rant, but..somehow it did.
I lit a Yharzeit Candle today, I have been every year actually. Also took a moment of silence. I've also been listening to a lot of patriotic songs today but I listen to them other times of the year as well.
It's been a terrible five years with terrorism, Madrid and London, the ongoing situations in Africa not to mention others. Then there's the natural disasters, those are in a class of their own but this post is for terrorism.