I was sitting here with Matt earlier tonight, looking at Twitter and editing my weekend blog update while waiting for the Amazing Race to come on, when I came across tweets stating that Obama would be making a statement at around 10:30ET about our national security. I got a bit of anxiety, realizing this isn’t something normal, and told Matt about it. I began reading Twitter updates and immediately saw that someone had heard from a reliable source that Osama Bin Laden was dead.
My heart dropped. I immediately thought of 9/11, being a junior in high school, having no idea what happened until 7th period when Ms. Salvetti told me, “Danielle, it’s really bad. We have no more World Trade Center… Just go home and watch the news.” It’s been nearly 10 years since it all happened. The death of Bin Laden brought it all back, and while part of me feels somehow better – or more like, relief because there’s a sense of closure – that he’s finally dead, another part of me is uncomfortable and uneasy.
I’m extremely uncomfortable with the way people are celebrating. It’s just like the same people elsewhere who were celebrating in the streets when 9/11 happened. Death, I don’t think, is ever really something to celebrate. I think if anything, this is a time for people to reflect. To think about how 9/11 affected them and to have some closure.
But I also think some people are blinded by this temporary “celebration”and are forgetting that this is going to cause some serious backlash and there will absolutely be aftermath. I’m honestly not that comfortable with the knowledge that Matt is going to be flying to NYC in a week. I know, I’m probably overreacting here but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I have a bit of anxiety and fear right now. 9/11 was such an intense time for our town when it happened and it’s stuck with me ever since.
I think people who were on the west coast when it happened didn’t really get a full understanding of the impact it had on a lot of the east coast. A man from my town was on one of the flights that flew into the WTC, and Abington being a small town, it brought a lot of people together. I had an intense fear of flying, post-9/11, and though I finally got comfortable again with flying, it took many years of flights, and now I’m feeling the fear creep back up on me. So no, I don’t want my husband flying to NYC in a week. And I’m starting to feel anxiety about flying to Boston. I’m sure I’ll be fine by the time our trip is here, but for now, I honestly don’t feel great about it.
It makes me upset to see the posts on Twitter or Facebook, sometimes having a racist undertone, similar to that of right after 9/11 happened. It makes me sick and angry to see such hate-driven posts. I just wish more people were trying to really think about this situation instead spewing anti-Muslim or anti-Obama garbage, or even worse, talking about taking turns spitting on Bin Laden’s corpse (yes, a classy one I read on Facebook this evening).
I don’t think I realized how much 9/11 had an effect on me until today. I knew it bothered me of course, and I went through a lot of emotions at the time when it happened, but I don’t think I realized how many emotions I still had attached to it until the news flashed across the TV, “Osama Bin Laden Dead.” I’m going to have a hard time dealing with Facebook and Twitter for the next while. To see the jokes, the hate-filled statuses, and “IN YOUR FACE MUSLIMS!” statuses, it honestly angers me.
I just wish people would take the time to step back for a moment and really think about what this all means, what it means to them on a personal level, and what it means for our country. This is a historical event that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and we shouldn’t be so quick to celebrate in the streets. It’s a sobering moment, if anything. It’s amazing how one event can suddenly slap you so hard in the face, right out of your normal every day life, and this is one of those events. This time, though, social media is playing a big part in it, and unfortunately I’m seeing more disappointing posts than I expected.