Okay, Sun, here’s what I remember:

I was in my junior year of college. I was woken up by my an email message to my cell phone from the EEN. It was something about the FAA suspending all air traffic. I went to the living room and turned on the TV and there was a live video of the WTC burning. It was an aerial shot from a helicopter, and the shot was moving a little bit (not much). I was confused because I could only see one tower. The cognitive dissonance in my mind tried to justify it as a camera angle thing – after all, I was in NYC only a month ago and distinctly remembered two towers – until the reporters’ voices mentioned the first tower falling and they showed a replay. Visiting grad schools in August, I wanted to go to the observation deck on the tallest building in NYC, but my dad and I didn’t get around to it. Maybe the next time I was there.

That afternoon I attended my international cinema class as usual and we discussed the morning’s events. The teacher was from Europe and she said something along the lines that the U.S. finally experienced the type of violent event on its own soil that Europeans had been experiencing for a while.

Sure, the event unified us, but I believe we ultimately brought more harm on ourselves and the rest of the world because of it. Flying now is a miserable experience. The TSA does ‘security theater’ … but at what cost? The Department of Homeland Security (a name a Texan would come up with) and our military expenditures have funneled so much money away from benefiting society towards perceived yet statistically insignificant threats. Let’s face it: they wanted to make us afraid and unite their part of the world against us and they succeeded. Chess much?

I’ve speculated on this before, but what if we had turned the other cheek and reacted with compassion and forgiveness? What if we had taken even half the war money and put it towards social development, economic aid, infrastructure, and education in those areas? Might we have toppled those regimes much more effectively and in less time? If I recall, nobody’s said the war is over yet.

9/11 has had a driver’s license for a year and will be able to vote next year.

Yes, it was sad. Many emergency services workers died that day, along with many more civilians. How many have we killed in anger, fear, and retaliatory vengeance?

Pretty soon everyone is blind.