Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2010; reflections of a Federal worker.

Nine years after the terrorist attacks and I have become reflective of the changes not only to our society but the changes in myself.  As a Federal worker I was very afraid of being targeted by terrorist both abroad but also by US citizens.  The impact of terrorism effects the job choices I make within my organization.  People have told me that I should put in for Agent jobs, and I say you must be out of your mind. I have no intentions of approaching people or business so that I can get shot!

Also, I have in the past, and will in the near future, be working in a Federal Office building.  My office will be on the same floor as Homeland Security and Immigration and Naturalization...and I sorta think, I really don't want to work on that floor. 

I remember what I was doing nine years ago, in my office when someone announced that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.  And then the sense of panic when a second plane crashed into it and we knew that this was no accident.  Thoughts of the Oklahoma City bombing came to mind and the total helplessness that you feel because you know people are dying and it could have been any of us. 

Not long after the September 11 attacks, our department moved to a FOB and I would walk past the daycare and see the kids gathering in a straight line so that their teacher can take them outside to play.  And I see people coming in and out of the building so that they can get a replacement social security card, or speak to volunteers to help  fill out tax forms, or any number of things that people need in order to take care of their necessary business.  I see  hundreds upon hundreds of people that are living their lives the best way that they can. Why do terrorists think that they solve anything by targeting these random people that are just trying to live their lives?

I recall my children's father and I deciding that we would not work in the same building in case one was the target of a terrorist attack and that we wouldn't put the children in a daycare at a governmental building.  It is always in the forefront of my mind that due to legislation that allowed for increased security around FOB's that over sixty terrorists plots have been stopped--my office being included in that.

I dated a guy who had such a hatred in his heart for everything that wasn't like him.  I remember his extreme hatred of anyone who appeared to have a Middle Eastern descent.  You don't always know that a person has such racial issues; I thought because he was a white guy that only dated black women that he was open minded about all things.  But when he made racial slurs against Middle Easterners I was offended.  He said, 'you of all people should hate them considering that your offices are their targets!  Every one of them should be blown up!'  I said to my EX-BOYFRIEND (anyone like that could never stay my boyfriend), I said, 'If you knew me at all, you would know that talking about killing innocent people is the wrong thing to ever say to me.'

The changes to society as I see it, is that people like him, who hate, now feel that they have permission to be vocal in their dislike.  They want war, and to fight, and to kill.  And I see things as if they were a giant chess board where two figure heads are sitting loftily away from the danger, sending out their pawns to do their dirty work...I see blood and loss and death and tears and then at the end of the day these huge lofty figureheads shake hands and say good game, but I'll get you next time.

I know there are huge emotions that are involved with the topic of war and terrorism.  I'm not trying to debate them.  I have my stance just like everyone else.  But the effects on our society is that some people have worked extra hard to understand people of Middle East cultures and some people have given in to their baser instincts.  Look at the Mosque project near ground zero, look at the minister who will burn the Qu'ran.  It makes you tired.


  1. I remember that was my birthday and i was 11yrs old everything was closed so i didnt do alot and there was sadness too. R.I.P victims of 9/11


  2. I remember that day... I was terrified. I was in school, living here in NYC. I was in my classroom and from my window we saw the WTC in flames. I remember being terrified bc my uncle worked in one of the towers. Thank god, that a week before the attack he had moved to another job (I was unware of that at the time). My dad came and picked me up from school and we rushed to pick up my sister from her school. The cell towers were down, we couldn't get in touch with my mom. She worked in the city (manhattan) near the williamsburgh bridge. We were so afraid they would blow up a bridge. It so sad how some people have so much hatred. I will never forget that day. I will never forget those people that safe lives and sacificed there's to help others. Never forget. RIP to those fallen heroes. God Bless America.

  3. I will always remember that day because after I had dropped my daughter off at school I went to the hospital to sit with my mother who was dying of ALS a/k/a the Lou Gehrig's disease. I was shocked to listen to news that all of the devastation that was going on. I felt hopeless. I went to my daughters school to pick her up as I live in Boston where the planes originated from to cause all that devastation. I can't believe that I am sitting here writing this with tears rolling down my face. My mother died that same month on 9/25....what a horrible year for me. I understand Pepperpace why you and your children's father made the decision that you all did. Being a state worker myself although you work for the Feds can be very trying at times. Take care and God Bless.

  4. I agree with you pep, although I'm not live in NYC, but my country have similar situation... The terrorist that came was from middle east, and not just once... They always came... But how come you judge people because of their skin colour, because of their accent, their raccist, and because of where they born.... Even when you know they're inoccent.... You keep your hatred because they're middle east. And what with the plan to burn Al Qu'ran... Did it satisfied your heart, or do it just fuel your anger? May God protect the inoccent and and punish the wrong doers.


  5. I lived in California at the time and for some odd reason left the TV on without the sound the night before. I was house sitting for a friend flying back from Boston that morning. I woke to a phone ringing off the hook (not my house so I didn't answer) and open my eyes to look over at the TV to see a plane going into the towers and smoke. I thought I was seeing things.

    When I turned up the volume, I felt the World drop. My mother worked in a FOB and I immediately called to find no answer. The West Coast immediately shut down. Everyone assumed we were next it was only a matter of time (in minutes in hours). I finally answered my friend's phone to find out she and her family never got on the plane from Boston Logan. My mom's office was sealed and closed. Took us 5 hours to find her.

    Life changed. I changed. I was two weeks from moving to the East Coast and everyone I knew tried to talk me out of it. It took my friend and her family almost three weeks to make it back to the W.C.

    When I hear, read, or see things on other wars and/or attacks now, it's in a whole new light. I've read alot on WWII but not until after 9/11 did I start to feel what it must have been on that December morning in Hawaii. Or in England with bomb raids nightly. When I moved in Nov., I stopped in Okl.City and went to the memorial there and couldn't stop crying. Seeing those little chairs in the memorial just took it all back to just what was being killed and lost.

    Faith is intended to make you strong and to have a relationship to life and your well being. It is a shame so many have turned it into a jumping off point to do the unthinkable in the name of those whose lives never once showed they would have done such a thing.

    I've read about a guy who walked the earth for a little of 30yrs and never burned a Qur’an but someone now, purporting to be following in his will wanted to have such an activity that he would have never sponsored.

    RIP victims of 9/11. Hopefully more will learn and change for the good with your sacrifice.

  6. When I read your comments on that day, it just brings tears to my eyes. Reliving the fear and emotions of those first few days is very hard. I just pray for us all.


  7. have to say as a veteran that it does get a little wacky in the world and what you possibly can face day in and day out. unfortunately, the reality is being a federal person doesn't really increase the odds per se; but i can understand your trepidation to say the least.

    keep the wonder in the world and hope that one day we all figure it out.

    and by all means keep writing.


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