Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th: 10 Years Ago

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Here I am in Omaha, Nebraska unable to get back to sleep. I just read a really good 9/11 blog post by Patti Digh, "remember". She writes well about what it was like for her that day. She also talks about how polarized and hateful things are in the US right now. However, she brings it home to what matters: living your life now to the fullest.

I'll admit that I've been avoiding watching TV and the coverage on the 9/11 anniversary.

I wasn't in the USA when the attacks happened. I had just moved to a university near Daegu, South Korea for a new job as a visiting professor. I had my little Daewoo Tico, and I was driving around that evening while listening to military radio. I can't recall which US morning radio show it was, but it was fun to drive around a new place in a foreign country while listening to an American radio show.

Then they broke into their broadcast and said a plane had hit one of the World Trade towers in NYC. I was hoping it was some horrible accident, but the World Trade had been attacked before. Then a second plane hit the other tower. Like everyone following what was going on, I knew my country was under attack. I turned my car around and headed back to my apartment. At some point, I heard that the Pentagon had also been attacked and that there was another plane that went down somewhere in Pennsylvania.

I'd just moved, so I didn't have a TV. Good for me that South Korea is a well-wired country. I simply walked across the road to a PC-bang (Internet cafe), logged in and kept up with the news. Also, that Internet cafe also had a big screen TV and switched news covering what was happening. I was at this cafe when the towers collapsed. I stayed there until dawn just keeping up with the news. It really was just overwhelming, and I felt helpless. So many lives were lost. I cancelled my classes for that day.

Last week, on Labor Day I left the wonder that is NYC to move back to the SF Bay Area. I miss NYC already, but I know that I need to live somewhere that I not only love but where there are people that I love and have deep connections to.

Today, I'll be doing exactly what I did when I heard about the attacks: driving. It's a propos.

I still hurt and probably will always hurt for those who lost their lives in those attacks. I also hurt for the family and friends they left behind. Peace be with you all.

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