Where were you when? Yet another 9/11 tribute

My sister started a blog series asking readers to remember where they were during pivotal moments of history. Since I've been promising her a guest post for awhile now I thought I'd take this opportunity to reminisce about where I was ten years ago today before the events of September 11th became synonymous with anti-Muslim rhetoric and the country was bankrupted by two wars started in response to this fateful day.
Ten years. It doesn't seem like it's been that long since the last terrorist attack on US soil was carried out. I didn't wake up this morning thinking about the attacks and, for that matter, I hadn't really thought about the fact that the anniversary was approaching until I received a warden message from the US ambassador to Kenya on Friday reminding us to take a moment to remember the Americans who perished ten years ago. That said, I have been in the field for the last 10 days without consistent internet so I have missed most of the coverage and hoopla surrounding the commemoration of this milestone in American history.

To get the whole where was I when this happened question out of the way before I get on my soapbox, I was at home getting ready for work when my mom called to tell me to turn on the news. I watched as the first of the Twin Towers poured with black smoke and recoiled in horror as the second plane plummeted into the other tower. I called into the children's museum where I worked at the time to let them know why I was running late and was told not to come in because the mall was closing for the day in response to reports that various public buildings were potential targets for additional attacks. As with many other national tragedies, news stations inundated us with images, disseminated misinformation, and harped on every little tidbit that came along. I remember hearing early speculations that the first crash was an accident until it became evident with the second, third, and fourth crashes that these were planned attacks against our country.

It's with mixed feelings I look back on this day. Today marks the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans but it also ended an age of innocence and oblivion on many people’s parts. I, for one, had never thought about war in a concrete way until this attack. However, many people around the world live with violence as a part of their daily lives. They know the perils of war and the hazards of doing something as simple as going to work or shopping at the market where they could become the victim of a suicide bomber.

Rightfully so, many Americans were angry about what they considered an unprovoked attack on innocent people. These individuals were not on the front lines and had not enlisted to fight against a known enemy; they were going on about their day to day business and were attacked out of nowhere. And, as we all know, in the aftermath of the attacks, and partially in response to this anger, the US declared war against those who supposedly implemented this campaign of terror against America. However, I don't think that the American public realized exactly what this declaration entailed and how this would affect the lives of many civilians, such as themselves, in seemingly distant countries. While the government’s primary concerns were finding supposed weapons of mass destruction and hunting down terrorists they were seemingly indifferent to the consequences of their decisions on everyday citizens and how their actions were destroying governments as well as countries’ stability and how this would affect their lives.

So while I mourn today for the thousands who died needlessly and a nation’s innocence lost, I also think about how the rest of the world changed because of this act of terrorism. The death and destruction didn’t end on September 12, 2001; it continues today. I reflect on how the US government’s actions will affect future generations and hope that one day the world will heal from the actions of a few against the many.

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