On 9/11, I was 22 years old. I woke up to P shaking my shoulder.
He said, “Planes keep crashing into the World Trade Center.”
I asked, “What do you mean they keep crashing?”
We got to the television just as the towers fell. It was hard to comprehend what we were seeing.
I worked on the 25th floor of a tower in downtown Bellevue and I was afraid to go to work. But my boss was a jerk, so I went anyway.
Later that day, my coworker asked: “What does this mean?”
I said: “It means we’re going to war.”
She rolled her eyes and said I was being stupid.
Within 24 hours, the whole country was festooned with American flags. They’d sold out at all the stores, so the local paper printed a full color flag in the next edition so you could cut it out and put it in your window. That outpouring of fierce, frightened nationalism would lead to a string of terrible decisions. The Patriot Act. A foolish war based on lies. At the time, we didn’t see where we were headed. We only knew that life had changed forever.