My 9/11 story is not much different than most. I remember where I was. I remember being scared. When it was all done, I was sad. Seven days later, I flew my flag. This song made me cry.
I was in D.C. It was supposed to be the first day of my White House internship, which was postponed to the following Tuesday. I was in the middle of something called the "Washington Semester" at American University. There was no way to get out of D.C., no way to call my parents (cell phones were overloaded), so a bunch of other students and I went to the Red Cross to donate blood. The line was tremendous. Along that line, which was about two blocks long, was an Afghan Restaurant. By this point in the day, there had been some whispers about this group called "Al Queda" and how they were working under the protection of the "Taliban" in Afghanistan. Waiting in line, even the most open minded individual looked at that Afghan restaurant with anger. About an hour into the wait, after David McCullough asked if he could butt in front of me (true story), a gentleman with a turban came out of his restaurant with a tray of food on one arm and a tray of water glasses across the other. Everyone's guard dropped. We were all people again, on a very scary day, waiting in a very long line.
People talk about 9/11 with anger, patriotism, and revenge. We are reminded every year that we still don't have Osama Bin Laden's skull to place in the Smithsonian. "Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies..." -- my favorite Bushism. I am angry. But I will always remember what Afghani food tasted like on September 11th, the sound of military helicopters flying above us, waiting in line to donate blood.