September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Story:I could not believe what my eyes witnessed on the television screen. I told those sitting around me, "What idiot would fly a plane into a building by accident?" Someone then said to me, "It's not an accident." My heart sunk, and sheer dread overtook me. "No. It can't be," I thought to myself. I drove home and listened to the chaotic moments of the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks on National Public Radio. I heard about the Pentagon being attacked; I heard that another plane crashed in Pennsylvania; I heard that there may be another plane heading toward the White House. I drove home feeling numb.

I made it home safely and immediately sat motionless in front of the television set for hours. I watched both towers of the WTC collapse. I thought I was watching a movie; I had hoped this was all a bad dream. Unfortunately, however, this was no bad dream. After the reality of what had just transpired began to sink in, I immediately thought of my wife and daughter. My wife teaches at and my daughter attends the same Islamic parochial school. The school decided to close early that day, and in fact, it remained closed for three more days. It was eerie seeing worried parent after parent walk their oblivious children to their cars and drive away. I have never been so scared my entire life.

Yet, I also have never been more determined to do what is right than I am now. That horrific day of pain, death, and sorrow has transformed me. On that day, I became a true American Muslim. On that day, I had to come to grips with the fact that the worst act of mass murder in this country's history has been committed in my faith's name. On that day, everything changed, and I realized that my job as an American Muslim was to do my utmost to make sure that everything changes for the better. There is a lot of work that must be done, but it must be done. My fellow Americans, "Let's roll."

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