I had a terrible time waking up this morning. I just didn't want to get out of bed.
Not unlike five years ago...
My alarm was set to the NPR newsradio station. Not a good idea, as I would often just lie there and listen to the news, losing track of time. But this morning was different. The first sounds on the radio were "we don't know what's going on. A plane. An airplane - it hit the tower. It was like... something's happening, hold on. There's another one! There's a plane headed for the other tower - it hit the tower. I don't know. I don't know what's going on." Then an anchor voice "this is NPR, we have on the phone someone in New York City, where it sounds like a second airplane hit the World Trade Center." And then they began asking questions of the person on the phone. There was no television in our apartment, so I just lay there listening...
I was paralyzed. What was going on? It doesn't matter what time it is. Ah man, yes it does. I have the exam in Jazz History today. I'll fail if I don't go to class...
My roommate was already gone, but I knew she'd be back from classes soon. "Turn on the news" I left a sign on the door. I walked in shock up the hill to my class. I just couldn't believe it.
In class, the teacher just told us to start, and then left the room to watch on the television in the next room. Why did he make us stay there? What an insensitive jerk!
Then, the kids in the classroom began talking. "What's happening?" Someone asked. "The World Trade Center has been hit," an answer. Then someone made a joke. A joke. The classroom was laughing. Laughing! People around me were laughing, and who knows how many people just DIED! I wanted to scream at them. I don't remember if I said anything, but if I did it was something along the lines of "don't you get it? People are dead." I began crying. I left the room and walked home, crying.
What did this mean for our country? What did this mean? What could I do? How can I help? Why?
I didn't attend any more classes that day. Instead a friend and I went out to a local pizza buffet that had televisions, so we could watch the news.
Five years later, we have all sorts of "security" and all sorts of controversy over that security. We have more war. We have more enemies. "The problem" has not been "solved" and I don't think the "lesson" has been "learned." (Sorry for all the quotation marks...)
I would love to post a beautiful quote or poem about peace here - but nothing that fits my feelings comes to mind.