Sunday, September 11, 2005

In Remembrance

1832 will not post any political blog entries today. Instead we will only post entries that are in remembrance of 9/11/01. Readers are encouraged to post their own personal entries in the comments section of this or any 9/11 entry (we may publish some comments to the front of the blog).

9/11/01—Has it really only been four years?

I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I was a senior in High School at Rolling Hills Prep and it was senior picture day. I remember I got up in early in the morning like I normally did…and I immediately turned on the TV in my room to the morning news only to see the city that I was born in, under attack.

I started yelling and running up and down the stairs telling my family to turn on the TV. I remember hearing my mom turning on her TV and saying, “Oh my god!” and then she ran to the phone to call my dad and my brother who had already left and were headed into downtown Los Angeles (my brother would find his school closed and my dad would be turned away from his office building in downtown).

I don’t know why I did what I did next, but for some reason I went back to my room and called my High School friend Erin Patrick. I can still hear her voice and the words she spoke to me that morning. She was in a panic becuase her dad was in the military and was being called in to the Los Angeles Air Force Base, but we stayed on the line trying to calm each other down until we both witnessed, together, the unthinkable happen before our very eyes—we watched the second plane strike the World Trade Center. We both screamed. Then there was silence and then we cried. We ended our phone call in tears, we were afraid, we were in disbelief, we were angry, and we were at a loss of words as to what to say to one another.

Later that morning I went to school and we took our senior pictures for a yearbook to be given out at our graduation later that year, yet I remember I could not stop myself from thinking how unsure the future now was. To make matters worse the School Headmaster had instructed all of the teachers not to allow the students to watch TV news reports of what was going on, fearing that it the news would cause the middle school students to panic. Most of the HS teachers ignored the Headmaster’s order, but many of the students at Rolling Hills Prep decided to leave their classrooms and instead listen to the radios in their cars in the parking lot.

I remember sitting in the parking lot with Crystal Hale and deciding to leave and drive to the nearest Red Cross Center to stand in line to donate blood. When we got there the line was so long it went outside the building, wrapped around outside and into the parking lot. In the moments of despair that followed the attacks, giving blood to save lives seemed to give many, including Crystal and myself—hope.

I will never forget that day. I will never forget the sad faces of seniors who somehow managed to pull off a smile for the quick flash of a camera. The memories of that day are more vivid than any photograph a mere camera could possibly capture. I can still hear the sounds of that day. I can still hear Erin Patrick's scream. I don't just remember what I felt, I still feel what I felt and when I think of the tears that I shed on that day... I shed the same tears. This is what makes 9/11 impossible to forget: you cannot forget what you still see, hear, and feel.

9/11/01-We will never forget.