Yet another reflection on 9/11

Yesterday being the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it seems somehow as appropriate as ever to think back upon that day and how it changed everything. I wish I could say that the entire ordeal somehow brought out the best in me, or at least moved me in some significant way, but I’m going to be honest instead. It didn’t.

I was 15 at the time. I was a Sophomore in High School, which had just started back up maybe a week before. I woke up that morning to the news that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I believe this was before the second plane hit, and there was still believed it may had been a tragic mistake. I thought it was pretty interesting, but ultimately not worth thinking a whole lot about. I can’t recall when the second plane hit in relation to me, but it must have been either on my way to school, or shortly after I arrived. It was a very different atmosphere there than usual. Many of the classes had the news playing on televisions, while some teachers attempted to get some actual teaching done that day. My history teacher was one such guy, and I remember saying jokingly that this was history in the making, and that we had to watch it. I forget when I learned that the Pentagon had been hit as well, and I to this day I think it’s interesting that no one seems to honestly care about that part of the attack. Then again I live in New York City, and New Yorkers are about as myopic as any other urban center.

I remember there being news stories about how other nations reacted to the attacks, such as a celebration among Palestinians or something. Not sure if I am even remembering that correctly or not. The other students began talking about how they are now saying it was some kind of terrorist attack, which being the hateful kid I was thought was pretty cool. I didn’t even know what terrorists were, really, but thought it was all fascinating nevertheless. Death and destruction, followed soon after by the possibility of war. All very cool to my rage-addled teenage mind.

At one point or another I remembered a scene from my earlier childhood, where my cousin and I would play Sim City 2000. While we sometimes attempted to make actual cities of our own, it was far more fun to load up one of the scenario cities and just activate one natural disaster after another. One time, I kid you not, we even activated the plane crash disaster over and over again in the New York City scenario, with one successfully striking one of the World Trade Center towers. We laughed, of course, and then we set off some earthquakes and tornadoes.

Had I known then what I know now, that there’s nothing really cool about death, a very limited level of cool when it comes to destruction, and that the years that follow would be really crummy in a lot of ways economically, setting up for all sorts of other terrible things to follow, I would have reacted differently. I wouldn’t have cried or anything, but perhaps I would have lamented the compete and absolute waste it all was. And it is kind of sad to think that all those terrorists came to the conclusion that blowing themselves up in a plane was the best thing they could do with their young lives.

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One Response to Yet another reflection on 9/11

  1. Alar says:

    I’d said we’re fairly lucky it wasn’t worse. They could’ve crashed those planes into filled up baseball or football stadiums… the numbers would’ve been much higher, if not quite as ‘memorable’ as taking out the World Trade Towers.

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