To those who goes into harms way to protect and to serve

SEMPER FI I thought it was all a dream, and I wish it was a dream. What happened yesterday, on September 11th, 2001, is the most surreal, shocking and tragic event the America will not forget for time to come. I first heard the news on 7:05 AM, on Pacific Standard Time. I usually wake up about 6:30 in the morning and leave home around 6:55, but I overslept that morning. My mother call out to me, and tell me to watch the news on television. She's just got a call from my sister at Berkely minutes earlier, to relay what has transpired in New York. I watched the news for couple of minutes before I eventually left home to work and to attend classes at California State University, Northridge. Over the radio, I continued to listen to the latest news happening at New York City. At Media Library, a part of Oviatt Library where I worked, I watched the news from television overhead. I exchanged speculations, rumors and news as I watch the horror happening before my eyes on television. When my shift was over and as I walk to my first class of the day, I passed the people watching the news on school's news channel. The scene is reminiscent of day after Pearl Harbor, when people reading the headline over Time Square. Professor of the first class gave an strong oratory. That we must not be cowed by the overwhelming crisis looming overhead. We must continue with our lives with heads up and show the world that we as an Americans cannot be deter by terrorism. Eventually, all the classes were cancelled by noon and the whole campus was closed by two in the afternoon. Rest of the California State University systems followed. As school was slowly shutting down, I was in a dilemma. Should I go home, or should I donate blood to Red Cross? In the end, I decide to go home and donate blood later, as people were waiting in line to donate their blood. Before I left campus, I prayed with a prayer group for those who had died. Fear had gripped the Greater Los Angeles County. After all, three of the four hijacked planes were supposed to go to Los Angeles and all four of them to California. All public and most private buildings were closed. Los Angeles Police Department went onto tactical alert. People went home to be with their family. Public events were either postponed or cancelled. All flight were grounded and all international flight to Los Angeles International Airport were rerouted to Ontario Regional Airport. At home, me and my mother anxiously waited for the return of my father to home. As independant blue-collared contractor, he drive around alot for his business. When he arrived, he knew bits of news and that traffic was lighter than expected. Soon we ate our dinner while our eyes were glued to the news on television. My mother was watching the whole event since the morning. She was the most schocked by the event than rest of the family. Not hysterical, but simply alarmed. She feared that war was declared and I might be swept into it. This tragedy even made my father, who has typical Asian attitude of what's in my body, stays in my body, want to donate blood. What happened on Tuesday on September 11th, 2001, is a tragedy that have deeply scarred the America. Centers of finance and military were hit, and blind America's will on the world. Thousands of lives are probably lost, including hundreds of police officers and firefighters who gambled with their lives to help others. Anger is slowly brewing in American psyche. I am not ignorant, I know America has lot of enemies who want to see United States suffer. Yet, America must carefully weight its options. For all of us threading into an dangerous and unknown path of future, filled with uncertainty and darkness. For enemies of United States want America to lash and get hurt in the progress. Therefore, America must stand and be strong, and at same be sensitive.