Today is a national student walk-out day. There were a number of people in the UMass campus center, but I opted to attend Lauren’s presentation on “Williams people” instead (as did a dozen other intrepid comm majors). Intriguing.
Meanwhile, Monday night I had dinner with Laurene, and she told me about life in DC since 9-11. She was at work at Gallaudet when the plane hit the Pentagon and watched the smoke spiral up from her office window. Since then, the city’s been like it’s under siege – constant military presence on the streets and in the skies, helicopters overhead with searchlights, all hours of the night and day. She was commenting on the general naivete of Americans, but particulalry of those of us away from the most obvious targets of terrorism, and how easy it is for us to talk peace, while fear stalks the residents of our nation’s capital. The smoke from that attack is emblazoned in her memory, as is the scene of everyone streaming out of the Capital as threat of another plane-turned-missile arose. The sniper attacks didn’t help. The day the police arrested the two snipers she said people POURED out of their homes – a night/day difference – reveling in the relative release from the grip of fear.