September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document
Story:I was at work as a librarian in the Cataloging Department at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. A colleague who listened to the radio on a walkman gave us the news of the first plane's hitting the WTC. I assumed it was an accident. Then my colleague told us that a second plane had been flown into the towers and we all knew it had to be deliberate. I heard about the Pentagon the same way. By this time I had tried and failed to get into any U.S. internet news site, including all the Indianapolis television stations and the newspaper. The BBC website was also inaccessible from the volume of traffic. Finally I realized that it would be late night in Australia, so I tried and got into the Australian Broadcasting site. They didn't have much detail.
By this time my email had begun coming in fast from friends all over the U.S and the world. There was much checking on friends in NYC and DC. I was especially worried about two friends who work for the Smithsonian, as if there was a fourth plane crashed into Washington, the target would probably be near them. Fortunately they both were safe.
Being a seminary, CTS held a prayer service in the chapel. I am proud to say that when the congregation was asked for individual intercessions, someone promptly prayed for the safety of Arabs, Arab-Americans and Muslims who would be in danger of being attacked by revenge-seekers.
I didn't see the famous tape of the plane hitting the towers until after I got home, about 4:30 pm. and turned on CNN.
I felt a great sorrow for a long time afterwards, but not anger. What was done to us that day was beyond anger.
Memory:E-mailing and being e-mailed from all over. I am the policy setting listowner for [private] and [private], both focused on the television show Forever Knight. Normally I am very strict about staying on topic and not allowing anything but fanfic on Fkfic-l. Now that all went by the board as the fandom reached out to each other. I made a point of saying on both lists that I was not going to enforce the topicality rules, that we were a family who needed to comfort each other. This occured on other e-mail lists, but as the listowner of these two I was in the middle of the comraderie. We didn't know it at the time, but we had a member whose husband, a New York Port Authority police officer, just missed being inside when the second tower collapsed. Another member who worked in the Pentagon barely made it out safely. I only had to intervene twice in unsuitable threads. The first was when someone who meant well but hadn't thought of the inflamatory effect tried to start a discussion of the attacks in relation to U.S. support for Israel. This was quickly withdrawn, with an apology, at my request not to discuss the political aspects of the situation. The second was someone who insisted on posting an anti-Arab diatribe on Fkfic-l. He refused to promise not to do it again and I removed him from the mailing list.
Affects:I think we are much more security conscious, but unfortunately I think the public mood has become frighteningly militaristic and authoritatarian.