I was driving on the back roads north of Tracy, California, going to work at the Livermore VA with the radio turned to KCBS for the traffic reports. My thoughts were on the many tasks I had to complete that day so I could be gone for a week of shell collecting in Hawaii.
The news cast broke into my thoughts when I heard them saying an airplane had hit one of the towers at the World Trade Center in New York. I was both fascinated and horrified as new reports came in. At work I prepared for my vacation, not expecting the unfolding drama on the east coast to effect my plans.
The next morning my scheduled flight from Sacramento was cancelled, and I was re-booked on flights from Oakland and San Francisco. Given the confusion in the next few days these flights were cancelled too, and I was unable to get a flight to Los Angeles where the shelling trip was originating.
Since I wasn’t expected at work, I stayed home, worked in my garden, and spent time in my art room. I had taken a collage workshop at U.C. Santa Cruz in May and had been working on several pieces. I started clipping newspaper quotes and pictures to use in a collage to show the state of mind in our nation after this attack.
On the left side are magazine photos of the towers before the attack, of Hawaii, and my unused boarding passes with a note from the agent. On the lower right I pasted pictures of recent terror attacks in Israel, asking is this was a preview of things to come?
The center quote framed in red reads:
“We have a choice, whether to implode and disintegrate emotionally and spiritually as a people and a nation or (to) become stronger through all of this struggle to rebuild on a solid foundation.”
—the Rev. Billy Graham
At the time it felt like we were united about defending and continuing our way of life.
Today it seems that his question is still waiting for an answer.