my thoughts are so complex about the current situation, i don't know if i can commit them to words, that i can do a good job expressing myself entirely and honestly.
terrorists attacked america today on multiple fronts. two passenger planes fly into the world trade center, bringing down both twin towers, leaving lower manhattan covered in a cloud of dust. another plane lands on the pentagon. yet another goes down somewhere in the pennsylvanian woods. just one plane hijacking would be bad enough. to have four on the same day almost simultaneously, and then to have those planes be used as guided missiles to attack further targets, that's something completely new and completely scary.
the most shocking thing is the destruction of the world trade center. plane hijackings, we've all seen before in the past. a side of the pentagon getting blown up, that's almost like a military target being hit, not that shocking. but the world trade center. 50,000 people work there? to see that whole tower disappear from the nyc skyline, the number of people, the lives, just taken away like that, that's nothing we've ever seen. they still don't have an exact death toll for the world trade center, but i'm thinking at least 10,000 dead.
i was at the dentist today, i didn't realize what was happening. while i was getting my teeth cleaned in boston, all this was going. i left the dentist office feeling pretty good, i even bought a bouquet of sunflowers. when i entered the office, i saw people crowded around somewhere, and i hear the radio on, broadcasting some news. my immediate thought was, did something happen? but i never thought it would be of this magnitude. i went to my work area, put down my flowers, and dan came up to me and said, "did you see the photo?" i thought maybe he was talking about another one of his controversial photoshopped images, so i went around the desk with a smile to take a look. on his computer was a browser opened to a page with a photo of some buildings with an explosion. "a plane hit the world trade center. minutes later, another plane hit the second tower," he said. initially i thought he was joking, but then it all made sense, how there seems to be a quietness in the office while everyone was listening to the radio. i leaned against the wall and shook my head, total disbelief.
so everyone was just monitoring websites and listening to the radio. one world trade tower collapses. then the other. all commercial flights suspended. sarah let people into her apartment across the street so they can watch the coverage on television. todd came by around noon and said we could leave if we wanted to, since there was a rumor that the mbta would be shut down. i stayed until 2pm and then i went home. walking to the bus stop, i heard a rumble and saw an f-15 fighter jet fly across the sky. the sight of the military plane made me feel both secure (the power of the us military) and scared (what's going to happen to america?). the mbta was still running, and actually on an increased capacity. by the time i went home though, most of the people who were given the rest of the day off had already gone home, so it was pretty empty. i sat on the train, kind of somber, wrapped up in my own thoughts. i looked at the few people who were also on the train with me. i felt a solidarity with them. despite our differences, in the end, we are all americans.
when i came home there was nothing but terrorism coverage on television. i ate lunch (i bought some linguini with meatballs when i got off the bus), watched the news in bed, and then fell asleep with the afternoon sun coming into my bedroom. it was weird, i sensed the irony. there were all these horrible things happening, but here i was, totally at peace, calm, falling asleep.
i see these attacks as almost natural disasters. true, there's nothing natural about it, man-made through and through, but the number of people dead, the randomness of the event, it's like an earthquake or a tornado. it happens, we deal with it, life goes on. thing is, we can't prevent earthquakes or tornados, but there might be a way to prevent terrorism. perhaps the cost of prevention might be a hard price to pay (for example, loss of some civil liberties, or maybe having to go to war with an as yet unknown terrorist entity responsible for these attacks), but it is possible. so that's the difference.
the two planes that hit the world trade center, they left out of boston. that's kind of frightening, to think that there were or still are terrorist agents walking the streets of boston! not to sound paranoid, but i could've walked by a terrorist and not even know it!
another thing i thought about immediately was my trip to turkey in less than 2 weeks. would this trip get cancelled? will there be travel restrictions? i will have to contact ayse, see what's going on. i feel sort of guilty though, here was this great tragedy happening, and all i could think about was myself.
i'm going to still live my life the same way i've been living. i think that's what the terrorists want, to have americans be afraid, to shut down our country. but i'm not going to let it affect me. i'm definitely concerned about the current situation, but i am not going to barricade myself and hide just because of this.