Being an American
Americais home and I love home. Americais like a family, you can disagree and fight amongst each other but when trouble comes we all unite.
When I think of September 11th, I remember being at work receiving the news a plane flew into one of the twin towers of the world trade center. Hence, I work at a television station and went to a department who had TV screens in their area. About the time I got there I witnessed the 2nd plane hit the other tower of the twin towers. Shock! Fear! Confusion! In my little mind, I heard a voice “what the hell is going on this is not an accident.” I have heard of attacks on this building before and the fear that this could be a terrorist attack shattered my world. Oh no, there is a report of a plane near-by not responding to traffic control request.
A plane circled back from heading west and was assumed to be heading for our nation’s capital. Our traffic control tower was evacuated. Then, the news report that a plane went down 80 miles from where we were. This set the tone of fear for the rest of the day. We stayed glued to the TV news. Eyes and mind fixed on the latest news that a plane has also hit the Pentagon. For God sakes, what is going on! The Pentagon, home to our nation’s military and national defense has taken a hit. Are we defenseless to stop this insanity.
By the time I got home from work it was determined that it was a terrorist attack and all air traffic has ceased. Folks were stranded where ever they found themselves. I had two cousins who lived on the east coast but one was on vacation in Las Vegasand the other on business in New Mexico. Both had difficulty in getting back to their families. After calls of concern to family members near and far, I settled down for an evening of watching non-stop news coverage. Finally, at 11:30pm I settled down and got ready for bed. Unfortunately, my sleep was interrupted a half hour later with physical discomfort. My entire body is hot. So, I tried drinking ice cold water and using a cold wash cloth to wipe myself down and now I hear my heart racing. My heart is racing so fast I realize I must try to slow it down by taking deep breathes. It doesn’t work. Now, I feel like I’m suffering from shortness of breath. Time to call 911, I need the paramedics, could this be a heart attack. I unlock the front door in case I need someone to be able to get in to find me. One more thing before I call the paramedics, in case I live through this experience, my health insurance requires me to call my doctor first. The on-call doctor happens to be my primary care physician. I tell him what’s going on, I am about to die from a heart attack. He calmly explains, “Dear, you are having an anxiety attack. Take Tylenol and lay down.” I have always trusted my doctor and I did what I was told but I left the front door unlocked just in case. The next morning, I felt relief that I had lived and September 11th was over. But my life was never the same.
Ten years later, a plane in the sky takes on a different meaning. What kind of plane is it? How low is it? And, at the airport I find myself profiling and treating those around me like I work for TSA (Transportation Security Administration). Osama Bin Laden (al Qaeda) took credit for September 11th and he was killed this year in Pakistan by Special Forces. And as an American, I still don’t feel safe.