9/11. A date an American will Never Escape:

In my younger years there was always something unspoken about our nation. Elders shied away from the word "terrorist" and us, kids, made up our own definitions of the word.

Was a terrorist that kid who picked on me in class? Is that what being terrorized is? Was a terrorist a teacher who never budged with the rules? ...Was a terrorist a bank robber? None of these people seemed to be 'evil' enough to be the people who forever scarred our nation.

Names like Sadam were passed around and kids in class with the last name Hussien were looked at and questioned. I saw beard differently and got tense around old men. I was a kid, I didn't understand who the media was presenting to me, I just stored his image and it still remains in the back of my mind.

I then reached teenage-dom and movies started to pour out. Zero Dark Thirty. Touch (tv show). Was our nation in recovery? Can we finally ask our parents all the questions that have been collecting the second we saw them crying on the phone with a burning building in the background? It was time.

Wait, no it wasn't. There was never a comfortable moment to ask who was killed. The right opportunity never presented itself for me to ask my parents why the nation has a vendetta against Muslims. 

The TSA became more strict. Making jokes about any act of violence is a sworn NO. Our water bottles get chucked at security along with our privacy and coat jackets with too many pockets. Don't even get me started about the next layer of identity with being a person of color and going to fly on an airplane, internationally...

Through my own discovery, I have learned more and more about peace, internationalization and why education (not brainwashing) is vital for human growth. I look back on 9/11 not with faint memories but with an everlasting confusion of why and when this guilt feeling of being an American will ever go away. Our media tells us that we will never be able to replace our loved ones with new memories. Our nation as a whole is empty and pains for years more.

Thank you for letting me ponder with you,

Leela Hamm


*WTC picture is mine.

Published by Leela Hammond