Ten years ago yesterday I was eighteen years old, working at a gas station in Nampa, Idaho, making (luckily) more than minimum wage. I had graduated from high school three months prior, and was, as usual, lax about getting into college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, and the prospect of a real, concrete job, even though it was at a gas station, was enticing. Little did I know that I would have to quit a month later because I was too young to sell beer.
I had worked the late shift the night before, and was planning on sleeping in to, oh, two, three PM, but instead was rudely awakened by my father at about ten-thirty in the morning, shouting downstairs toward my basement door, “Josher! Wake up! It’s World War III!”
The next minute or so is crystal clear in my mind: so many jumbled thoughts at once. Mydad wasn’t making light of the situation; hell, for all I know he really did think World War III was coming, or was here, or something. I’m sure a lot of people felt the same way. But to be awoken from a deep sleep by your father, a man you put a lot of trust and respect into, telling you that a war was happening, and that it was world wide, well, that will freak you out. And so I woke up half-asleep, in a stupor, scared shitless that they would reinstate the draft (which I, like every other eighteen year old male in this country, forcibly signed up for) and that I would be sent off to wherever the hell they were fighting with an M1 Garand and an Army helmet with a pack of Lucky Stripes strapped to it.
Hestitantly, I crawled up the stairs and walked over to the TV, and saw that my worries were not as bad as I had thought. Though what was happening was horrible.
Looking at my LiveJournal entries from that day, I saw that I wrote a lot of misinformation (I even wrote about a fake Nostradamus quote that “predicts” 9/11. At this point, is Nostradamus even real? It seems like every quote attributed to him is fake). Five thousand people dead? Three thousand? And then, the very next day, a post about buying CDs from Fred Meyer. So I guess that’s proof right there that terrorism doesn’t work. Especially on the other side of the country.
I had never seen the World Trade Center, though my brother Russ had, and got photos ontop of one of them. I had never even been to New York, or the east in general. I was sheltered, and seeing planes slam into buildings didn’t affect me as it did everyone over there. Still, patriotism ran rampant in the days following, as did, for some of us, the onslaught of national introspection.
Now, it’s ten years later, and the brave men and women who went through hell trying to save people in those towers can’t even get their health problems caused by the dust and smoke covered under their insurance. The number of innocent civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past ten years is more than 1000% of the number on 9/11. The amount of money George W Bush spent on mindless war is so big, it’s impossible to understand, so we almost forget about it.
Talk about terrorism.