10 September 2011

10 Years Ago Tomorrow a High School Student in Oregon Wrote in Her Journal

I can hardly believe it has been 10 years since 9/11. Like many, I still remember where I was that morning. My father was driving myself and a friend of mine to school that morning, and as usual, he turned on the AM Radio to listen for traffic reports. However, instead of hearing about congestion on I-5, we heard the confused and frantic discussion between journalists. I remember hearing snippets: "Twin Towers," "Manhattan," "plane crash." No one knew what was going on and I remember asking my dad, "Are we being attacked?" He could not give me an answer, but then again, at the time no one could.

I do not remember learning anything in school that day. Teachers had radios and TVs on. We had a special chapel service and we prayed in every class (I attended a private school). That afternoon, cheerleading practice was held as usual, and as we ran through our cheers in the gym, I remember hearing the whistle of planes overhead. My stomach clenched, pushing my heart into my throat, and I remember having to remind myself that all planes were grounded and the National Guard was out.

After school I came home and my brother and I watched the news some more, as people were beginning to piece together what had happened. I myself, found it best to write about it. So on the evening of 9/11 (I don't think I even did homework that evening), I wrote in my journal and found a semblance of solace.

September 11, 2001

“How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave. Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are upon her cheeks.” (Lamentations 1:1-2a)

“Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning.” (Lamentations 5:15)

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to my self, ‘The Lord is my portion therefore I will wait for him.’” (Lamentations 3:22-24)

Today will go down in the history books as the day America lived in infamy. There was a terrorist attack on the east. In New York City, Manhattan to be exact, the World Trade Center was attacked. Two hi-jacked planes, both Boeing United Airplanes, crashed into both towers. About 15 minutes or so later they collapsed. The Pentagon at the Capitol was also attacked by another hi-jacked plane, which crashed. One other plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.

On this day many people have been murdered. 50,000 people alone were in the World Trade Center (the casualties are unknown at the moment). They do know that many more people were killed than in the Pearl Harbor Bombing, which launched the US into World War II. This attack could lead into World War III for all we know. Right now the FBI is looking into which country made these attacks. The White House representatives have said that once they find out who is responsible for these attacks they will be brought to “justice.”

I really do hope that this won’t lead into WWIII, or any type of war. It’s already scary as it is. My nerves have been tight all day. It’s like people are waiting for more to happen. I’ve been praying all day in school, and I really do pray now that we’ll stay safe. Many people are afraid that the terrorist’s next attack will include bombs.

I’ll keep you up to date as to what happens and what I find out from the on going Breaking News. I’ll let you know what President Bush says after his speech tonight at 6 o’clock.

“Praise be to the Lord for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.” (Psalm 28:6-9)

God bless you and America!

7:58 p.m.

President Bush’s speech was just an assurance. He didn’t tell us more or any thing. He told us what we already know. I did like one statement of his, which I call his “steel” statement. He said something along these lines: “[terrorists] can crush steel, but they can not crush the steel of America.” It was a very well said statement.

Just a little bit ago we have also found out who may be in charge of this attack. His name is Bin Laden. A terrorist group called, Al-Qaeta [sic] (from Afghanistan) was the one who sprung these attacks on the United States.

I continue to pray, as both my parents have gone to church to pray for our country and the victim’s families, that this does not lead to drastic measures. We don’t need a war right now, especially when the Jews in Palestine need free government. If this does lead to war, I pray to God that everyone on the home front will be safe from harm.

Goodnight. I will let you know on any up dates [sic]. God bless!

An Engagement

After a long and stressful year of work, Kenny's reconstructive knee surgery, and my grad school program, Kenny and I set a goal for ourselves to take a week long trip to Hawaii to relax and enjoy each others company. So on August 2nd we set out for the Hilton Waikaloa Resort. I was so ready to relax in the sun, drink yummy tropical drinks, and have fun with my boyfriend. We planned for a luau, swimming with dolphins, a couples massage on the beach, a trip to the BJ Penn gym in Hilo, and a lot of laying out and relaxing by the pool.

On Friday, August 5th, Kenny and I attended the luau at the resort. It was a wonderful evening. We had preferred seating, which meant a table close to the stage, a three course meal brought to our table, and unlimited drinks. We spent the time eating, enjoying the company of our table mates, drinking bottomless Blue Hawaiians, and watching the hula and fire dancers. Kenny even went up on the stage to dance the hula!

By the time the show was over, we were tipsy and tired, but so pleasantly content and happy. I was ready to get comfortable and call it a night. So Kenny and I headed upstairs to our room and I was just about to take off my shoes when he said, "Since you still have your shoes on, do you want to go get us some ice for a night cap?" A 'night cap!' I was thinking. After all the drinks we just consumed! "Oh, babe, I think I'm good, but I guess I can go get us some ice, and you can have a drink. I'll just have some ice water." Begrudgingly, I took the ice bucket and walked the long corridor to the ice machine. Unfortunately, when I got there, I discovered the ice machine was out of ice. Well, I wasn't about to go hunt down another ice machine, so I just headed back to the room.

When I reached the room, Kenny was pouring champagne and I told him the ice machine wasn't working (he said he wasn't expecting back so soon and quickly shoved the box into his pocket). I set the ice bucket down on the cocktail bar in our room as he offered champagne on the balcony instead. I relented and we headed out to the balcony, while I started to take off my lei. "Keep your lei on," he told me. Too tired to protest or suspect anything, I put my lei back in place.

The warm tropical breeze felt good on the balcony.

"Look!" he said, pointing out the fireworks across the bay. "Oh, wow!" I responded as I saw the fireworks go off, reflecting on the water. It was such a cool site.

The next thing I knew I turned toward him and he was down on one knee. Gasping, I put my hand to my mouth and started crying. This moment is still a blur in my memory, as if it were a dream, yet so vivid. "Will you marry me?" he asked, opening the box. I immediately said "yes!" (he later told me that this was the longest second of his life, because he could not tell if I was crying out of joy or sadness). We embraced and kissed, and I couldn't stop from simultaneously laughing and crying.

Realizing, I had not seen the ring yet because of the dark balcony, I ushered us back inside so I could get a good look at the ring and have Kenny put it on my finger. Wide awake now, we decided to change into comfortable clothing and take a walk. For the remainder of the evening, it was nearly 11 by this point, we walked the whole resort (which is quite big), hitched a ride on the gondola to its dock, and then walked past the lagoon. We stopped at a hammock and lay down, holding hands and gazing up at the stars while we reveled in our betrothal and the warm night. On our way back to the room, we stopped and watched the dolphins swimming their midnight laps. Happily tired, we crashed as soon as we got to our suite, and woke up with smiles on our faces.

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