Where were you on 9/11?
This post has been updated.
Everyone has a “Where they were on 9/11” story. The most powerful stories are those of the people immediately affected by this tragedy, the victims, their loved ones and the first responders.
But we all remember something about that day. For me, it was oversleeping and waking up, bleary-eyed, to a world that was different than it was before I went to sleep. War, foreign policy, and terrorism were all things I’d studied in textbooks.
They would become very much a part of my world over the years after 9/11. Friends and family were shipped overseas while debates raged back home. We continue to be involved in conflicts that we entered into because of what happened that day. To this day we’re wrestling with the questions it raised.
How much of our personal privacy is our security worth?
Should we continue to get involved in foreign conflicts in defense of values that we share but aren’t necessarily shared by all?
For all of the bloodshed and money spent, have our actions post-9/11 helped to further our long term interests as a nation?
The shock of 9/11 has dulled. The shock waves continue as the consequences of our response to this event reveal themselves. Today it’s ISIS. Tomorrow it’s, God knows who.
I want to hear from you today. If you would, please share with us your story about where you were on 9/11. What do you remember? What does this event mean to you today?
You can leave your responses in the comments section or email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Seconder sent in his account of that day.
Where were you 13 years ago today? I was working in Basel, Switzerland as an IT consultant. 16 months later I kissed my wife goodbye not knowing when I would see her again as I was deployed to Kuwait as a US Army Infantry Major with my Reserve unit. I was notified just after Christmas, 2002 and given less than 2 week’s notice to leave my job, home and wife for active military duty. We spent about 5-6 weeks in Germany for training before flying to Kuwait in early February, 2003, before the Iraq invasion. I had sincerely hoped we were bluffing Sadam so that he would agree to let inspectors come in and search for WMD. Didn’t happen. Had scud missiles come toward us in the early days of the war and I sat in the Scud bunker praying that my protective (gas) mask had an airtight seal. I returned home a year later. It seemed like nothing had changed in the States with people’s day-to-day lives and it was definitely surreal. Lots more to say. But it certainly was different for the WWII vets returning, where the country rationed gasoline, raised Savings Bonds, had a draft, and nearly everyone sacrificed. A few years ago I was in Aspen, CO on the 4th of July. Listened to their lovely symphony play patriotic songs with a couple thousand people in the audience. They asked as each of the armed services song was played, that the respective veterans stand and be acknowledged. When the Army song was played, I stood up, looked around and was the YOUNGEST person standing.