Being a lawyer, I was going to use 9/11 to write a blog post about the legal aspects of the War on Terror. I had in my mind a description of President Bush's recent actions bringing actual terrorists to Guantanamo Bay
and seeking to try them. I would've described how it fit into the Administration's legal strategy and political strategy and how I feel things are moving in the right direction...we are again becoming a nation of laws, not men. (I hope.)
Then I started reading news about 9/11 memorials. Emotion and memories pretty much overtook rational thought.
Part of the way I'm trying to make sense of this whirlwind of thoughts and emotion, chaos and sadness.....is to simply remember.
I remember 9/11/01. I remember starting the day, sitting in the living room of my dorm at Vanderbilt, studying for my Latin American Politics class. Mike walked into the room and simply said "Shit!" I'm not good at reading tones of voices, so I thought he was simply annoyed and possibly distressed. I thought that our beloved creation, The Slant
(Vanderbilt's humor paper), had somehow enmeshed itself in yet another controversy. I asked "what's wrong?" He said "Somebody just flew some planes into the World Trade Center!" "What?"
We both walked into his room and watched as some rescue worker was describing to CNN how horrible it was....like something out of a disaster movie. Then the second tower fell. I remember watching in absolute shock. I remember covering my mouth with my hand. Maybe crying...maybe not. It just....couldn't be happening.
Later that day I remember going to my Latin American politics class. This was Vanderbilt, so of course classes were not cancelled. My teacher (I remember that he was a socialist), spoke with the class about what would happen now. I remember him (or was it someone else?) saying that our freedoms would probably be restricted in response. I don't remember what else we said.
I remember going to the chapel. (The very chapel where, 4 year and 11 months later, Christy and I would marry.) Later that day there was an impromptu memorial service, but at the time it was just me and a few others. I knelt and prayed. I don't even remember what I prayed.
That's what I remember about 9/11.
Christy also remembers 9/11. At that time she was living with her friend Erin Hamer. When Christy woke up, Erin was staring at the TV. In her groggy state, without her glasses, Christy could only see something hit a building and the building falling. She concluded it was a movie - probably King Kong. Christy remembers actually arguing (still half-asleep) with Erin, insisting that she had seen this movie while Erin kept saying she thought it was real.
After realizing it was real, Christy remembers going to class. Her professor was from New York City. It was a Spanish class. Her family lived just a few blocks from the WTC. She had no idea what had happened. The class had to tell her. The prof. tried bravely to continue class, but couldn't. She ended class early and ran out to find if her family was alive. (They were.)
Christy remembers going to the Pub, Vanderbilt's bar/short order cook place/room with a really big TV. She saw someone walking out. This other student looked like a ghost....just totally ashen and in shock. After Christy had seen enough TV, she left the Pub. Dean Larry Dowdy saw her and asked if she was ok. Christy realized she must have looked the same as the ashen student she had seen earlier.
Christy, for once in her life, decided to do some homework late into the evening. She didn't tell anybody she was going to go study in some classroom. I mean, why should she? She never accounted for her whereabouts before. But today, her friend Alisa Randolph freaked out when Christy never showed up in her dorm at the usual time. Actually filed a Missing Persons report. It's sort of funny to them all now.
That's what Christy remembers about 9/11.
What do you remember about 9/11? Where were you when you heard the news? Who told you? How did you react? What did you see that day?
I'm creating an open forum here. Or you can write on your own blog....but please let me know. I'm not asking for analysis or pontification on what it all means. Right now, I just want to remember.