I was wrong. I’m usually analytical in my approach to everything and emotion, mixed with fond memories, got the best of me. What settled in next was skepticism.
Like many others after 9/11, I was in search of answers and meaning. I moved back to NYC a little over a year later. My very first trip back there after the tragedy began with tears as I took in the beams of light that replaced the towers.
I started a new college and there I joined an organization that looked for answers and were aggressive in spreading the word about 9/11 conspiracy theories. I was in the movement! I learned who “they” were and how essentially a whole group of people had been labeled and endured persecution as a result of the actions of a few. I watched how a botched presidential election and a low approval rating were overlooked due to the loss of human life. Mission accomplished. Weapons of Mass Destruction. It was two semesters of meetings, protests, chants and marches.
Then I stopped.
We lost the battle, the war began and I grew up. I could conspiracy theorize all I wanted but what now? I had things to do. Reality is a hell of a wake up call. I still had my semi-radical political ideas. I shook my head at the truths that had finally come out, truths that we had already known, and how late others were in their revelations. I watched new developments like everybody else. But I wasn’t afraid. See, the government was capitalizing off of our fears. Usually when an entity can make money off of you, you’re valuable, but in an instance where there are millions of you, what then? We had a choice and we chose to be cattle. We were then led, bells clinking, on a wild goose chase for Osama bin Laden.
And there was terrorism. The word made most Americans fearful, angry and blind to the atrocities being committed in the name of homeland security. There was in increase in racial profiling, a woman was forced by airport security to drink her own breast milk and there were plenty “random” searches. Many grew suspicious after the invasion of Iraq in lieu of Saudi Arabia and the switch from pursuing bin Laden to Saddam Hussein. Disinterest began to set in. The “underground” videos of bin Laden sparked less shockvalue and more humor after awhile. President Bush’s term in office had ended and President Barack Obama took office. After this milestone in history, Americans largely went on with their lives.
Was the death of Osama bin Laden a joyous occasion for you? (Take the poll on the homepage.)Have you lost anyone in the 9/11 attacks? Has justice been served? Do you feel safe?