Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Dark Day

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The Dark Day
by Emilio Anderson

The day was September 11, 2001. That morning, terrorists attack to place. I will always remember this day. To me, it was just as horrific as it was of the films I have seen about the Pearl Harbor bombing.

There were four planes stolen by kamikazes that morning from different airports in America. Three of the planes flew into different targets. The fourth plane was taken down by passengers trying to prevent the hijackers from doing what they set out to do that day. Some reports stated that the plane was headed to hit the White House.

I was returning from the Naval Hospital back to work when my peers told me that a plane crashed into the Pentagon. When I heard that the Pentagon had been hit I was very disturbed. Being in the Marine Corps at the time, I was affected most knowing fellow serviceman were either hurt or killed. Things started to get chaotic as people I worked with from that area started to phone relatives and friends. Most of the calls did not make it thru due to the phone lines being down. I found me a quiet place to relax and I prayed to God. Because I knew that morning, two of my good friends and me, were going to the Pentagon to pick up some supplies. I called home to notify my family that I was okay.

As I turned on the television in our office, the news had already taken over all of the stations. Shortly after that first plane hit the Pentagon, another plane flew into the World Trade Centers, better known as the Twin Towers. The whole scene seemed as if it was a script wrote for a movie made in Hollywood. I watched as the plane hung halfway inside the building of the tower. Suddenly it burst into flames and there was smoke all over the sky.

By this time, word had come down from the Base Commander that we were under high alert. No one could leave nor come onto the base without getting a full search of their vehicle and everything in it. My immediate officer let us know that we may get orders to leave for Afghanistan within the next couple of days.

We went back into the office to watch some more news. Minutes later, a second plane flew into the other Twin Tower. The news showed this plane flying into the giant building. Flames & smoke immediately merged with the other building flames and smoke.

I was very nervous and panicked. I know when I signed a contract to enlist in the military that I might one day face something of this magnitude. Now that time had come for me to defend my country against all enemies, whether foreign or domestic. I did not want to! Many people joined for college money or to travel and see the world. The attacks made me think about why I joined. I do not have an answer for myself.

As I glanced back at the television, I saw something that put me in awe. There were policeman and firefighters all over the area. The first tower hit went crashing down. The tower fell as if dynamite was set at the bottom. Moments later the second tower followed suit. I could see people running out of the towers as they were falling. There were so many people still in the towers as they fell. Just when I thought the scene could get no worse, it did. The firefighters and policeman were pulling and digging thru the rubbish. My first thought was that no one survived. There were all kinds of people trapped in the towers. I thought, “How could this be happening to a country that is always lending a hand to help.”

Just when I thought things had cooled off, another plane taken by hijackers took over the news. This plane would not do any more damage to any buildings. Passengers on the plane fought against the terrorists. The plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. That was very courageous. All of these events took place before I even took a lunch break that day.

Reports came out on news stations that Osama Bin Laden was behind the attacks. Bin Laden is a man wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigators. I did not have any idea of who could have orchestrated such a plan. America had not done anything to my knowledge that would justify such a terrible act. My opinion did not count because I work government. My job is only to follow orders.

Later on that day, I left the base to go check on my girlfriend and my daughter who was four months old at the time. I had moved out of my house and was residing in a hotel because I because my contract expired on September 1. When I arrived to the hotel, my girlfriend was in tears. I explained to her that I might be leaving soon if orders come down from Washington. A woman who was in the room next door was very emotional. The woman explained to me that her boyfriend is in the Navy and that he is out at sea. I tried my best to calm the woman down. I told her that everything would be okay and that her boyfriend would give her a call as soon as he could. I called my mother again and talked to her. More than anything, I wanted to go home to Georgia. I knew that my child and girlfriend did not need to be around me with in the state that I never experienced before. I also felt better knowing that all of my loved ones were safe in Georgia.

Days went by and things seemed to get better. Nothing changed with the way the base operated and America was still on high alert. Eventually President Bush would declare war against Iraq. Reports were out that linked Sadaam Hussein with the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers. By the time this took place, I was out of the Marine Corps. I thought about the people I have worked with over the previous four years. I prayed for them and hoped the best for them.

Many people lives changed after these events. There were thousands of people killed in the attacks. Loved ones lost forever. I still believe that it was a act that was unjustified. We are at war with Iraq and have lost even more serviceman. Many of those serviceman are under the age of 5. They have yet to even experience life.

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