Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Later

"Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?"

As opined in his blog, so will I.

It was my Senior year at Truman State and I was living in Campbell Apartments up by the football field. I remember turning on the TV to see the first tower already on fire. My initial thought was, how did the pilot hit the building, there's no fog. Then as I was watching the second plane slammed into the other tower and I said to myself that someone is attacking the United States. Who that someone was I wasn't quite sure, but I knew at that point that the relative peace that my generation had been blessed with since the Berlin Wall fell was history.

At that point I went to Violette for my first class and found everyone glued to the various TVs that line the walls in that building. We did have class, but that was the only class for the day as the rest ended up canceled. It was right after my first class that I learned about the Pentagon being hit too. Even being in the middle of nowhere Missouri I was scared of what was to come. Subconsciously I must have been looking for shelter because the rest of the day I spent working in the Math and Computer Science Department Computer Support Office with my fellow student Eric Norige. The reason I say that I must have been looking for shelter is that this office is in the core of the building with brick walls on all sides and no windows.

It wasn't until I got back to my apartment that afternoon that I realized my parents had been trying to get in touch with me. Dad was worried because he had been on Southern Illinois University's campus during the Kent State riots and he remembered being caught up in a mob that torched the ROTC building while he was walking downtown Carbondale. Knowing that the National Guard had a depot across from my apartment didn't help ease his mind.

I also remember talking to my friend Jill who at the time worked for the exchange student office at Truman. She was telling me how scared the foreign students, especially of the Muslim faith, were that we (the American students) would take out our anger, fear and rage against them. Many were scrambling to find ways home as they did not feel safe in the country or they were worried about not being able to get back home.

Where are we now five years later? Well I for one still got tears in my eyes listening to the clips on the radio of the newscasts that day. It scares me that we seem to be more worried about politics now in this nation than the problems at hand. Terrorism hasn't gone away, if anything it's more prevalant today. We've got to stay on the offensive and keep them off guard. The politics of appeasement that occurred in the 1930s with the fascist regime of Nazi Germany unfortunately is returning. Iran and Syria are both known state sponsors of terrorism yet the world community would rather suggest that they change there ways than to actually enforce it. There is no united will at this point, I only hope that it doesn't take an act of terrorism of a scale tens or hundreds of times greater than the 9/11 attack to make the world realize that the terrorists won't just disappear. The style of attack used on 9/11 read almost completely out of Tom Clancy's novels Debt of Honor and Executive Orders. I hope that Sum of All Fears (read the book, toss the movie) never comes true.

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