Sunday, September 11, 2005

Remembering September 11th

Like so many of us on the west coast, I woke up to scenes of the Twin Towers burning on Lower Manhattan.

Some time after 7:00 am, I got out of the shower and heard the phone ringing. Dripping wet, I threw a towel around me and rand to the phone and heard Rhonda's mother on the line weeping, "We're under attack! They bombed New York City! They bombed the Pentagon!"

"What are you talking about?" I shot back, thinking this must be a sick joke or at most an exxageration of some minor incident.

I turned on the television and became alarmed as I realized this was no exxageration... the Twin Towers were indeed burning on the screen in front of my very eyes. "Rhonda, wake up!" I shouted, and together we watched dumbstruck with the rest of the nation as one by one the towers fell. I was a half hour late for work, but it didn't matter; all the other staff were just as fixated on their classroom televisions. It was nearly impossible to was just so shocking.

* * * * *

The next morning, I remember waking up to the sound of silence. I live just a block away from Highway 395, and close enough to major airways to hear passing jets...but the morning of September 12 I heard no cars, no planes, no modern noises whatsoever, just the sound of the wind passing through the pine trees in my back yard. I realized them I had never heard that sound before.

* * * * *

Just a few weeks later, my family held the first winter ceremony of the season, and I remember during one of the breaks we all stood huddled around a small kerosene lamp in the middle room of the Green House talking about September 11. One of the elder members of the family said, "Well, if the white people blow themselves up I know I'll be alright. We still remember where to find our roots, berries, and traditional foods. If we have to go back to the old ways, we know how."

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