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It’s amazing to me that it was thirteen years ago when the most despicable attack on our country was made by evil individuals whose twisted agenda, made a mockery of a peaceful religion. I was still a children’s librarian and was setting up before we opened. The phone rang, shattering the silence. It was one of my colleagues who worked on the circulation desk on the main floor. She told me to go on AOL because a plane had just crashed into one of the WTC towers. I immediately went online and watched, horrified as the smoke and flames poured out of the building, never guessing that this could be a deliberate act. I went upstairs where everyone was gathered around the computer. Then the second plane hit. I heard gasps, then people crying including myself. I felt as though someone had just punched me in the stomach. Okay, one plane, maybe the pilot had a heart attack, but two? How could this happen? We were the United States. Who could possibly hate us this much? As the unimaginable events continued to unfold throughout the day, our Assistant Director set up the tv in our meeting room so we were able to take turns watching the news coverage. It was surreal. You didn’t really want to see the horrific images, yet you felt like you had to bear witness to what was happening, especially the incredible heroic actions of firefighters, police, and even ordinary citizens. No matter how many years pass I will always remember everything regarding the events of that day. My husband calling to check on me. Which library patrons came in. The conversations. The reactions. For me, September 11th was the day we lost that secure feeling that as terrible as the fighting was in the rest of the world, particularly the Middle East, it would never touch us here at home. That our foreign policies could never inspire such hatred and resentment that people would actually want to kill as many American citizens that they could. September 11th, 2001 was the day our country lost it’s innocence.

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