I woke up that morning to a phone call. “Turn on the TV”. I did and saw a building on fire, the North Tower at the World Trade Center. It was an accident, was what was said on CNN. I watched for many more minutes before a second plane hit. Then, it was obvious that it wasn’t an accident. A plane hit the Pentagon. We were under attack.
I was thousands of miles away, in Los Angeles, but I was bewildered. I was angry.
I cancelled my off site work meetings. I managed a company that ran 24 hours a day and there were concerned employees. I went to work. We were under a flight path. We sat stunned as the air became quiet. It would be quiet for days as the FAA shut down the airspace all over the country.
There were rumors of other attacks, none of which thankfully were true.
I was frightened. I wondered what would happen to us. I wondered what would happen to our country. I wanted to be anywhere but at that moment.
I watched TV after work. I realized many people had died. There were many people trying to find other people, people they loved, people who were absolute strangers. I couldn’t imagine. I spent some time not being able to imagine anything but only see what was happening directly around me. People had changed, I had changed. Fear had changed me, us.
Less than ten years later, I wondered what we had become, what I had become. I cheered the death of Bin Laden. I was jubilant, but still felt like an animal inside. I wish death upon no person. But, I was happy. I felt conflicted. Part of my soul disappeared.
Twelve years later, I still wonder about who we could be and what we could be if nothing had happened that morning on September 11. I wonder who we would be today. I wonder.