Algebra I. I was sitting in a circle of desks with my classmates Alex and Pete as we toyed with our TI-83 calculators. We most of time didn’t work much on our packets but pranked each others calculators, drew funny messages on each others desks, and threw pencils across the room. The life of a freshman.
Our teacher, Mr. H, came in to the classroom from his side office without saying a word and turned on the rear TV. He said nothing nor did he have to. We all directed our attention one by one to the TV. We looked up and saw one of the twin tours burning and smoking. The headlines seem now to be a blur. We all watched in awe. I don’t remember anyone saying anything. We then watched as the second place hit and then both of the buildings crashed down.
I don’t remember much of the rest of the day. We may of had a message from our principal over the PA system and I am sure some students left for the day to spend the rest of the chaotic day safely with their families.
I remember going to the Seven Dolors parish that night with my Dad. We went there to pray. We prayed for our country, for those helping out up in NYC, for those hurt in D.C., in Shanksville Pennsylvania, and those utterly in shock over what had just sent ripples through the Western world. I remember that night at the parish seeing and hearing helicopters and airplanes overhead. L-RD only knows what was going on up in the air.
Years from today, people will ask me and you where were you on 9/11. I think back to this experience of mine because as I see everything that has built up over the summer; from the NYC mosque proposal, proposed Koran burnings in Gainesville Florida, and religious extremism. Life is too short to get wrapped up in these ephemeral matters. 9 years ago today, we lost Muslims, Atheists, Jews, Christians, and thousands of others in three separate states. Life cannot continue to be minimized to the point of being spoken and muted over by fussing noise under the guise as news. Even Jay-Z said that this can’t be life.
It doesn’t seem like it has been 9 years since 9/11. It doesn’t seem that all of my high school years are gone, my undergrad time is done, and now I am married. I am an old soul, as is MJ, so our life both together and individually is ahead of our generation in some ways. These years have gone by and I have seen and felt myself grow in quantum leaps. It may sound ironic or paradoxical but as I have grown in my interest in current events and politics over the past 2 years, I have grown less tied down by them. Call it a bit of desensitization but I have a feeling history will continue to repeat itself. It seems we are on a tear towards having our history books substituted (or hijacked) by demagogic personalities on TV and radio directed towards ad hominen stances laced with vitriolic discourse and placated beliefs. I see that as more fuel for me to be a history teacher. But I digress.
I read up on a bunch of neat articles, blog posts, and similar musings related to 9/11 and wanted to blog on them. Alas, I will cut it short and leave you with some short style cuts. David Dunlap describes the new World Trade center in an interactive style, Andrew Sullivan laments over warring religious fundamentalism while providing an uplifting Monty Python clip related to the other Terry Jones (the Florida wackjobs German mission from God here). Arjun
Appadurai delves into the suffix “ism” in relation to religious fundamentalism, Marc Ambinder describes the roots of militant ideology towards the USA, and Lisa Borden beautifully asks what would Jesus do on 9/11?
I feel that no amount of blog posts or commentary can fully wrap up this day. It is an ecumenical moment in our melting pots history. Let us embrace the stories surrounding this day as a way of learning, growing together, and extending love in all directions possible.