11 September 2010

nine years.

On September 11, 2001, America changed. I remember getting into work that morning, just after the news got out that the first plane had crashed into the Pentagon.

Later, huddled around a television someone found in the small company cafeteria, we watched in stunned silence as the towers fell down.  There was no internet for updates, as every news site was being hammered by traffic.  There was no calling anyone in NY for status, as shortly after I was on the move trying to get folks out of downtown Chicago. 

Conversations were uneasy.  Mentally going through checklists of everyone you knew who could possibly be on the East Coast, in NY, and in the Towers, while keeping one eye to the sky because fuck, what if shit goes crazy here

For the first time that I could ever recall, there was not a single plane overhead, with the exception of one or two military jets in the distance, going to God-knows-where.

Growing up in America felt like being in a bubble sometimes.  Overly concerned with ourselves and not much else.  The bubble broke that day, and there was no turning back.

More and more this planet seems to be getting angrier and angrier.  Many focused on our differences and our insecurities about them.  Characterizing people into convenient stereotypes because of how someone looks or sounds – sometimes even when that person looks a lot like us.

As simplistic as it sounds, there really is more that unites us than separates us, if we could just get past our petty differences and disagreements.  We can hand the next generations something better than what got handed to us.  For their sakes I hope we do.

Remember.  Respect.

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