(A throwback poem, well, I guess it's a poem, from 2011)
"TODAY OF ALL DAYS"
Third period Theology, and my head was on the desk, as usual. I heard some announcement over the PA about some rumor of a plane crash in New York.
Fourth period Spanish, as I walked in, the tv was already loud. Before I had the chance to see this most devastating broadcast, Mr. Babcock summed it up.
"Gentlemen, you're about to see history." And I quote like a court stenographer.
I got to my desk, first row fifth, and turned.
BOTH TOWERS HAVE COLLAPSED
This is something that I can't and won't be able to shake off. In the front right corner of the classroom, that for bad reasons will stick out in my memory forever, I stared up at the 30-inch tv.
CNN?! FOX NEWS??! MSNBC?!
Who knows, but wait, the World Trade Towers??! And both!!!?
There was and is something horrific and confusing about the phrase...
BOTH TOWERS HAVE COLLAPSED.
At 17, I had no official worldview. But I immediately knew the significance of this.
Two monstrosities, two of the most important symbols of American excellence, whose roof upon which I recently stood, they both crumbled into powder.
Thousands of lives brutally murdered in minutes, the psyche of an entire country permanently damaged.
Yet at the time, what caused the most horrific twist of my facial expression as I gazed, transfixed, at the most insane of television images known yet to man, was my parents.
My parents worked in the second largest sky scraper in Center City Philadelphia, and I'm pretty sure I heard some pundit talk of rumors of more planes, more attacks.
I tried calling them, but 2001 technology, we'd all later figure out, couldn't handle the volume of the millions of calls, of the distressed and fearful.
We were let out early that day.
And when I got home, the front door was open. Their car, in the driveway.
They were safe.
I shut the door of the car and quickly walked up the walkway in the front yard, twirling my set of keys out of pure anxiety.
I looked up at the cloudless blue sky.
It was perfect.
After two weeks of miserable late Summer rain, we get this, on Today of all Days.
We watched, as the US Army invaded two countries, live on tv.
From the most desolate landscape in the world, a complex Arabic militia hellbent on nothing but blind ideology and provoking the second Muslim Caliphate rose and went head to head with the greatest military the Earth has ever known on barren battlefields.
Looking back, from 10 years later, it was such a simple time.