Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11: Where I Was Seven Years Ago

I was at school. It seemed like a normal day... Until first period began, and the teacher turned on the radio and told us all what had happened in New York and Arlington, VA. Later on, we found out about the plane crash in Pennsylvania. And from then on, there was shock & panic dominating over all of us at school all day. Even though we were over 3,000 miles away in Orange County, CA, some of us had family in these areas... So everyone was on edge.
Oddly enough, 9/11 began my political awakening. Before then, I was taught by my parents & my church (the high school I was at was religious, and part of this church) to be a good far-right Republican. But in the days after 9/11 when everyone was calling for "REVENGE!!", I remember the Afghan feminists urging us NOT to bomb their country just so one group of tyrants (Taliban) could be replaced with another (the northern rebels). I remember Barbara Lee being the ONLY voice of reason in Congress, asking her colleagues and our nation not to rush to war & forsake the values we were supposed to be fighting for. I remember seeing a group of victims in New York gather for a peace vigil & beg us not to kill innocent people in their name.

At first, I thought I was crazy for not seeking revenge the way so many others seemed to want. Then, I was perplexed when we all forgot Afghanistan as the drumbeats for war in Iraq began. And later on, I became angry when I found out about the July & August 2001 memos warning about al-Qaeda's plans to attack, President Clinton's outgoing national security team BEGGING Bush's incoming team in late 2000 to take al-Qaeda's threat seriously, and the EPA not warning New Yorkers about the health hazards of the pollution caused by the debris shortly after 9/11. When it occurred to me that the GOP was using 9/11 to scare Americans into submission, I turned away... And in 2005 became the first member of my family to register to vote as a DEMOCRAT.

OK, now you know my 9/11 story. What's yours?


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