Whatcom County Remembers 9/11

Stephanie Gaona

affected in japan

bellingham WA

I was 16 years old on 9/11 and living on an Air Force base in Japan. It was between 10 and 12 at night when I woke to our home phone ringing at a faster pace than normal, which signals a stateside incoming call. I answered it half awake, it was my Granny, I was scared already because usually if stateside family calls this late its because of a death in the family. Instead she franticley tells me to wake my parents up and turn on the news, so I did. Together we stayed up into the wee morning hours watching the coverage and shedding tears for all of the innocent lives lost. The images of people desperate not to burn alive plummeting to their deaths are what remain in my mind to this day. The next morning the entire Air Force Base shut down, we had tankers with guns guarding the base armed guards the whole nine yards. It was surreal. When we finally did get to go back to school we had armed guards at every entrance until the terror threat was lowered. It was as if we were in the midst of a war. At 16 you can imagine the fright and insecurities running through my mind. Now that I look back I realize whether age 16 or 58 I wasn't the only one feeling scared,angry or insecure about the future events. This day and months after caused fear and anger throughout not only America but Americans overseas at military bases and for the foreign workers who were employed there as well. And still, its not over 10 years later.

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