My Thoughts From the 10th Anniversary of 9/11/2011


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On this, the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I remember where I was that day and the events that occurred in the days immediately following it. I’m sure that every other American who was alive that day (and who was old enough to remember it), remembers the events of that day as well. I remember watching the morning news on CBS, as I waited for my sister-in-law to pick me up and take me to the ISU Daycare; I was being evaluated that day to see how I interacted with the children, and I was evaluating whether or not my MS (Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that attacks the body’s autoimmune system) could handle working at the daycare.
My sister-in-law picked me up immediately following the first plane being flown into a tower at The World Trade Center. When I left, I was still under the impression that there was a communication problem between the control tower and the planes flying into New York. It wasn’t until around noon, that I figured out that something more was going on. The majority of the international students at ISU took their children to the university daycare for childcare. In fact, most of the children in the class who weren’t American were the children of my Middle Eastern friends.
So, when my third friend came to pick up his two children, I asked him what was going on. That’s when I learned that a second plane had flown into The World Trade Center, and that a plane had hit the Pentagon, and another had been crashed in a Pennsylvania field. My immediate thought, was fear that my brother-in-law might have been hurt. He was a Marine who worked at the Pentagon, but luckily he wasn’t at the Pentagon that day.
The head of the daycare told me that I was free to leave for the day if I wanted to, because so many of the children had been picked up by their parents, I wasn’t needed. My sister-in-law picked me up and I decided to stay with her until my husband arrived back in town from work, and to be honest, I was a little nervous. It somehow felt “safer” to be with family. When we got back to my sister-in-law’s house, I found out that a bomb threat had been called into my oldest daughter’s elementary school. My second grader attended the elementary where the international students’ children attended; apparently, someone decide to call in a threat because they knew that “Muslim children” were there.
My husband decided to comeback into town early and pick my daughter up. The children at her school had to deal with two terror attacks that day, the planes that crashed and the bomb threat that led to them being evacuated from their elementary school.
Don’t get me wrong, I was terribly worried about the events that the hijackers caused that day. I was worried about all of the people in New York, and I felt a sense of pride at being a citizen of America, where First Responder’s were willing to risk their own lives, in order to save other’s. A country where our First Responder’s will rush into places where most people would run out of. A country where people rushed out to give blood and to sign up for the military, where the majority of it’s citizens came together as one, putting aside their differences. I think this is the point where my experience started to differ from the majority of my fellow citizens.
The next day when I arrived at my house, pushing a double stroller, I was greeted with the sight of 5 police cars. I approached two of the officers who were standing in front of my house, and tried to find out what was going on. However, when they said nothing was wrong I said: Look, my father was the first African American police officer in the town where I grew up, and there wouldn’t be 5 police cars in front of my house if there wasn’t a problem. So, WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON???? That’s when I learned that there were a large number of bomb threats being called in about the mosque, which was located directly across the street from my house.
I lived in an Indiana city that had an average of 60,000 citizens; I wasn’t scared that “Muslim” terrorists were going to attack me. In fact, one of the perpetrators of the first attack on The World Trade Center was being housed at the federal prison in the town where I lived (the same prison that the terrorist Timothy McVeigh, was executed at). However, I was in fear of different terrorists; I was scared of the Terrorists in my town, the one’s who would dare to call in a bomb threat on that horrible day.
These were the Terrorists who were calling in threats to the mosque that was directly across the street from my house. They were the people who were threatening my Muslim friends, even the one who was white and obviously born in America. My friends were being terrorized whenever they tried to leave their houses’. My husband I had friends who were asking if we thought they would be safer if they shaved their beards, to which we told them the sad truth, that it wouldn’t make any difference. Their skin tone’s would also give them away and there wasn’t anything they could do about that.
My husband and I had to get basic items for some of our friends because it wasn’t safe for them to leave their houses. One of my friend’s had just given birth to a beautiful daughter, who had dual citizenship for the United States of America and Egypt. I also had a new fear; countless times I’d watched my daughters’ play with their friends who were Muslim. And you know what I realized after 9/11, I realized that my multiracial daughters’ had the same skin coloring and hair texture as their friends.
That’s when I realized that the terrorist I feared, where of the homegrown variety; the terrorists that I feared, where the people who were calling in the bomb threats against the mosque that was across the street from my house. The terrorists’ that I feared, were the one’s who would look at my daughters’ and be unable to tell that they weren’t Middle Eastern, and might hurt them when they were away from me.

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