Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I saw my therapist today and 9/11 came up. I was seventeen on that morning. We had one television in our house and it was never on. I think because of that and the imposed isolation we grew up in, I didn't hear about the hijackings until three o'clock that afternoon. I was starting to prepare dinner with my sister when my older brother walked in the door with his wife. They're weren't tearful or upset. They matter-of-factly said that "Muslims were killing Americans." My mom hustled my younger siblings into the basement like we were personally under attack. Today that seems absurd to me. He didn't say that the World Trade Center or Pentagon had been hit or that hijackers took over planes and flew them into strategic locations. He said that we (meaning white Christians) were under attack by "Muslims"...and we believed him. There was a family in town that was Persian, but probably Christian, and my other brother said "we should watch out for the Xs". As if this family we'd known all our lives was suddenly going to burst through our front door with guns. My father was typically fired up about what had happened even with his lack of correct information. He made us all gather to pray (in the basement). He asked God to forgive his family for being so sinful and forgiveness for the world's tolerance which led to "this deed". We prayed for an hour with dinner forgotten until one of my sisters started whining in hunger. My father was on the phone the rest of the night. He didn't talk about solidarity as a nation of people that were hurting. No, the message was about how great the need was for things like ATI and ALERT-like training. He was convinced this was the beginning of the end.