Today started as a normal day, get up, get dressed, go to college. Along the way the train broke down. Unable to find out why, I shrugged and hopped a bus, somehow thinking this was the start of a bad day.
I live in Cleveland, one of the major air traffic hubs of the midwest. There were reports of a bomb at the airport, and they diverted us. A bomb, I thought. A bad situation but not one that I could do anything about.
Then a passerby mentioned the catastrophe in NYC. I couldn't believe it, I was certain it was some sick joke. The United States of America is and always will be INVINCIBLE. Nothing like that could happen on our soil!
Then I saw a CNN broadcast of those horrible pictures of Flight 11 colliding with the WTC. I was stunned, my legs weak, my mouth agape and aghast. I thought, must be a movie. It wasn't. It wasn't. On this terrible day my world changed. I walked rapidly down the streets to my school, every glance piercing and fearful, searching, seeking for anything out of place, placing one foot in front of the other for twenty blocks.
This is the terror in terrorism. For the first time in my life, I was afraid to be out in the open, not knowing what was to come, not knowing if the nightmare had ended... or just begun.
I wanted to share my thoughts with you. I have good friends in NYC, and though I am agnostic, my prayers go with them today through this crisis. Even though I am far from NYC, that disgusting act rocked me to my very soul, for despite my misgivings about politics and the system... I am an American. The parties responsible must be dealt with harshly, but at the same time, we cannot use this as a justification to rampage unchecked through the Middle East, for that would undermine the very principles of free democracy.
I hope to God that this is the last attack on America.