Friday, September 09, 2005

Four Years Later

I don't think any of us will forget where we were on September 11th four years ago, but what about September 10th? Sure, we could say it was a "simpler" and "innocent" time, but for me, something very eery still sticks out given what happened the following day.

Here's the setting: it's my last semester at TCU and I have a Monday night class in Media Law and Ethics. Our lecture always met in a classroom on the third floor of the Moudy building but September 10th's lecture was different. We met in the classroom but we were told to go across the street to Ed Landreth hall to hear a guest speaker. Turns out the speaker was a former lawyer who had worked with the ACLU and won several cases against the KKK. One of the biggest points of his speech was how just a different view of America could mean a lot of things. One example he brought up was the Oklahoma City bombing; some people had a different view and executed a horrific tragedy.

For me, hearing about the Oklahoma City bombing again reminded me of when it happened in my sophomore year of high school. So many years had passed since that happened but I still remembered being in history class and hearing the news. I didn't quite understand what was going on at the time: I heard there was an explosion at a government building but that was all I heard. I didn't hear about the fatalities until later that night, but I couldn't gauge how terrible this was until days after. Maybe it's because of shock or just being too young to understand.

So I hear this lecture and think about how many years ago the bombing was. I hate saying, "That was so long ago," but I realized that I wasn't a teenager anymore. I remember the following morning as extra quiet but with hearing a lot of panicked talking in the distance. My one Tuesday morning class was cancelled due to our teacher calling in sick so I went home. Watching TV and seeing every channel (except for a couple of shopping channels) devoted to coverage from New York and Washington DC was sensory overload. I couldn't do anything more than watch. What else could I do?

My roommate had a habit of sleeping until 1pm but on this day, he slept until 4:30 because he had a very late night. I couldn't escape the horror by taking a nap so I chose to do something that I was later accused of being insensitive by doing it: I watched The Evil Dead. I didn't watch it out of insensitivity; I watched it because I once heard that if you think you've had a bad day, watch Evil Dead and you'll see somebody that had an even worse day. I know, I know, it's pure escapism but given the nature of the day, I needed it.

Now it's almost four years later. I haven't forgotten and I don't think anyone has. Of course hindsight makes things seem simpler than they really were but I choose not to think of September 11th in that way.

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