Sunday morning I opened the blinds to find a nice Hawaiian day greeting me. Then I saw the American flag flying off my neighbor’s lanai across the street and I remembered. 9/11. Ten years later.
I was asleep in my San Francisco apartment that day, when my sister called me at 6AM. “A plane flew into the World Trade Center.” In my sleepy head, I pictured a small plane with a student pilot who made a horrible error.
When I turned on the TV and saw the images, I couldn’t imagine it was really American soil where this was happening. But it was. Being on the West Coast, I felt so very far away from the people of New York and Washington.
Here, in Hawaii, ten years later, I feel even more removed from the East Coast. I watched the TV coverage sporadically throughout the day. At 2:00 I saw the two shining beams coming from Ground Zero and for a moment I thought they were showing coverage from last year. Why? Because it was dark in the images the TV was broadcasting and it was the middle of the day here. I never really comprehended how far away Hawaii is from the whole Mainland.
When Mark and I watch the end of the 11:00 news, we see CNN starting their morning shows. The anchors have their morning cup of coffee, and Ali Velshi talks about the stock market for the day. The upcoming day. The one they are just starting while we head off to sleep.
At least the woman across the street reminds me first thing in the morning that I am an American. And in case anyone on Oahu missed her flag, the Fire Stations won’t let Hawaiians forget. The sign is still hanging in front of the Fire Station, complete with dried lei from last Sunday.