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September 11, 2002: A day like any other

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Last year I sat on the couch and stared at the TV in disbelief. Last year I refreshed the CNN screen obsessively all day to find out any additional information. Last year I watched the donation totals for the Red Cross site skyrocket. Last year I listened and read and watched and tried to understand.

Today I refuse to turn on the TV or listen to the radio. I cannot bear the commercialized emotional manipulation planned by the media. I cannot stand any more speeches by the Shrub or any of his Cold War cronies about who we should be attacking this time; what freedoms we should be giving up this time; whose rights we should suspend this time all in the name of this war on terrorism.

We have a flag outside, hung at half-mast, much like many other people in our neighborhood. This afternoon we drove to the blood bank in Davis and donated blood. The rest of the day has been spent reading through the training manuals for these new jobs we've got, sitting with purring cats, doing laundry, cooking meals.

I don't need anyone telling me how to remember. I remember every time I hear a plane fly overhead; me, a military brat who grew up on an air force base. I used to never notice planes. I do now. I remember every time I fly, and go through the still-inadequate new "security" measures - those same measures that resulted in Richard being searched twice, and me once on the trip to and from Ohio, yet still enabled me to board four different planes with my pocketknife in my purse, unnoticed. I remember every time I hear about more people detained without reason, every time I hear about racial profiling, and about people now afraid to practice their religion for fear of persecution. I remember every time I reluctantly turn on the radio again and hear all the new reasons the Shrub has provided that day - all in the name of our War on Terrorism - for why it is I cannot wait for him to be voted out of office in 2004, and for why it is that I am terrified that he will bring things far, far worse on our heads than last year's attack with his blundering and his need to continue what his daddy started and failed to finish.

Today is just an ordinary day; no different than any other day has been since everything changed one fall morning in 2001. No matter how much the media may want me to, I can't make it anything else but that.

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