Stories began last week, memories of, “Where were you when the Twin Towers were hit?” No other explanation was needed; the images were instantly relived signifying that tragic day.
It was unreal; horrifying, devastating, and terrifying, all at once. I was working as a server at Village Inn when reports started to come in on the radio in the kitchen. I couldn’t stop working, but the mood was noticeably changed. The uncertainty of what was going on had everyone on edge.
As the towers fell and it was announced that other forms of terrorism were simultaneously being played out, my mind raced with the possibility that we were being invaded by another country. (Terrorism had not yet become a household word in our country.)
As the days unfolded after 9/11, it became apparent that all of our lives had changed because of what had happened; not just because of how many lives were lost, but because we no longer felt safe. We no longer felt secure. Our homeland was no longer invincible.
As I sit and watch the replaying of the tapes of 9/11, I am reminded what I was thinking that day; that we would never be the same.
Watching the towers being hit by the planes and engulfed in flames, seeing people jump to their deaths, and the towers collapsing; these images are too gruesome to witness again, and again, and again…but we have to.
We can’t not remember how and why we changed from being a naive country thinking that we couldn’t fall victim to acts of terrorism, to being constantly on our guard, looking around corners and being suspicious of others, even in our own country. It has made us reluctant to trust others and their motives. We no longer know who our friends are.
We are no longer “Land of the Free”. Sept. 11, 2001 changed all that. We are captives of distrust.