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Remembering 9/11: Innocence Lost

by Travis on September 12, 2007

I’m not the most patriotic person in the country. I’m fairly liberal. I have my criticisms against the U.S. government, such as education, health care, and homelessness among other things. I have a strong dislike for President Bush and believe once he is out of office, the truth about just how crooked his administration has been will come to light. I believe Iraq was a big mistake and our efforts would have been served better in other places. I also know that in some countries, I’d be locked up for what I just wrote. The United States has its problems, but its still one of the best countries in the world to live in. While I don’t agree with our original intentions in Iraq (weapons of mass destruction? Give me a break), the situation has changed (yes, we stirred it up and it would have served better if we would have stayed in Afghanistan) and I support our troops. I have friends who have served in Iraq and thankfully, they have all come home in one piece. When I originally started this blog, I made a conscious effort to stay away from two things. Religion and politics. I harbor strong feelings on both subjects, but that’s not what this blog is about. But today, it’s kind of hard for me to ignore politics. Six years ago, our lives in the U.S. were changed forever. Its something that effected me pretty hard. No longer were we “safe” in our own country. No longer could I go somewhere and the thought that something “could” happen would never cross my mind. It some ways, our innocence was lost. Six years ago today, almost three thousand people lost their lives. I’ve never really said much about it. This marks the first time I’ve really written anything about the subject. It’s something that still bothers me today.

The morning was like any other for me at the time. I worked at a factory making circuit boards. It was an assembly line kind of operation. I wasn’t working on the line itself, but I ran tests on the newly made circuit boards to catch defects and the such. It was a sunny September morning and my shift started at 6:00 a.m.. At 7:30 a.m. MST, after both planes had already hit, I took the early break and went and made my morning call to my girlfriend, who was already on the road to her job. She mentioned that when she was getting ready for work, there was something on the news about a small plane hitting one of the twin towers and that it looked kind of bad. I just mentioned something to the effect, “that sucks”, and we continued on to other subjects. We were kind of fighting, so it wasn’t the most pleasant conversation. When I got off the phone, I started walking back to the factory floor when I passed a table full of people in the lunch room and they too mentioned about a plane hitting one of the twin towers. I decided I’d hop on the internet when I got back to my position on the floor and see what was going on.

Before I could even get to (I’m thinking by this time, the news sites were all gummed up with traffic and I was having problems getting to any of them), my Dad, who also worked there as a Tool & Dye maker came up to me and said, “You heard what’s going on?”, I told him I heard something about a plane hitting one of the twin towers in New York. He shook his head and said “Shit is more serious than that, a second one hit the other tower. Something is going down, it is not good”. I always heard people saying “their stomach sunk”, I never really knew what they meant by that though, until I heard my dad utter those words. My stomach sunk. I remember feeling fear, a fear I’ve never felt before. Yeah, I’ve been afraid of things, but I’ve never feared for my well being in my own country.

By this time, the news was traveling quickly around the factory what was going on. The mood was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. There was sadness, lots of confusion, and almost a sense of panic. Soon my old boss come up to our line and told me there was a third plane that crashed into the Pentagon. It was clear that our country was under attack. Rumors started to fly. There were many more planes in the air that were unaccounted for, the White House was hit, California had been it, there was a plane that crashed in Denver, there was a plane crash in Pittsburgh. The last rumor was about the only one that was close to being true, but the whole media was just about as lost as the citizens were. Our company brought all the TV’s they had in training rooms and turned them on in the lunch room.

There was not much work done that day. We took turns going out to the lunch room and watching the coverage. I called my girlfriend at work and we talked for a moment about things. That morning’s argument was distant memory. I hung out with my old man in his shop, listening to the radio a lot as well. By afternoon, the mood around the factory had turned very somber. To top it off, after lunch, we experienced a fairly large wind storm, causing some power lines to go down and thus we lost power to our facilities. Talk about people being on edge already when that happened. I was in the bathroom, in my “office” if you know what I mean. It scared the shit out of me….no corny pun intended.

I went home to the little two bedroom house that I shared with my roommate/boss. He was not home and wouldn’t be coming home more than likely, electing to stay the night as his girlfriend’s. I came home and digested more of what was going on in our country. I wanted to drive over to my parents house because I did not want to be alone. But for some reason I couldn’t move from the couch, I couldn’t draw my eyes away from the horrible images I was seeing on the TV. At that moment, I honestly felt I was seeing the beginning of World War III (and who knows, that still might be the case). Soon, night fell and I felt very alone in that little house. I couldn’t believe that some one could do this to people, regardless of their beefs with people. I couldn’t believe that something of that magnitude could happen in our country. I was just in disbelief. I ended up ordering pizza. The pizza guy came to the door and when he saw that I had the news on, he asked if he could watch a little bit. He had a brother or cousin, some kind of relative, that worked at the site. I let him in, but we didn’t say much. The kid just watched as they kept showing new footage of the planes slamming into the buildings. He didn’t say much other than “thanks” when he walked out the door. I knew at that moment, things would never be the same.

My deepest sympathies goes out to anyone who was effected by this horrible tragedy. I’m not religious, but I am spiritual, I believe in a higher power and I truly hope that everyone that lost their lives in 9/11 have gone onto a better existence. May God, Allah, Jehovah, or whoever you maybe believe in guard us in these chaotic days that lie ahead of us.

P.S. I’m aware of the conspiracy theories that surround the Tower circumstances. I’m not sure what to believe, but for this time, I’d prefer to rather honor those who lost their lives than point fingers. There will be another time for that….If I ever feel like getting into it.

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