The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Instagram

Looking back through a lens

 Looking back through a lens
Looking back through a lens

Looking back through a lens

On the morning of Sept. 11 I woke up to a startling phone call on my cell phone.

“Moses, are you awake?”

“No, not really, what’s up,” I said groggily.

“Turn on the TV there is something you need to see.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Just turn it on.”

With that I jumped off my bunk, which was a good five feet off the ground, and stumbled to the television. At that moment I remember turning on the television and seeing nothing but a cloud of smoke over New York. “I got up for a fire?”

Then I saw a replay of the first airplane slamming into the first tower. Stunned, I held the phone to my ear and in a calm voice said, ” Um, I will call you right back.”

Soon after I got off the couch and ran to wake my sleeping suitemate. After some coercion I finally got Rauth out of his bed. In my suite, I was known for making a lot of noise – intentionally – to disrupt my roommates’ slumber. I know it’s juvenile, but on that morning I was being sincere.

Rauth and I sat on the couch mesmerized but what was occurring. Suddenly we watched as another airliner bulldozed the second tower. As I recall, at that moment, we both got up and got our phones. I remember thinking about my mother. She had been traveling on that day, and quite frankly, I didn’t know where she was.

I honestly thought that the whole bloody world was going to end. Armageddon seemed more plausible than a terrorist attack on such scale. I never got ahold of my mother on that day. It turns out that she was stuck in some Bolivian airport for hours after the FAA grounded all the flights in the United States.

My thoughts shifted to my camera; I needed to get it and take some pictures. Of what, I didn’t know, but I just needed to go to the newsroom and see what was going on. Throughout the rest of the day I was taking pictures, glued to the television or sitting speechless with friends.

Millions of Americans will always remember what they were doing on Sept. 11 as will millions of people all around the world. Yet, the sad reality is that the thousands of people who lost their lives will never be able to rehash their day as I have rehashed mine. Thousands won’t be able to dream anymore, and the grief caused by their deaths has been immeasurable over the last year.

To me, life is valuable. It’s not really a hard concept to grasp. It was pretty eye-opening to see that so many others apparently had not learned this lesson. How misguided do you have to be to blatantly and knowingly attack thousands of defenseless civilians? Isn’t there some other way of making a point that doesn’t contradict the teachings of your beloved faith and piss off the most powerful nation in the world?

What really gets me is that tyrants like Osama and Saddam are millionaires literally a hundred times over, yet they use their funds to destroy rather than give it back to the people they claim to be defending and representing. How many people could $1 million feed? How many medical supplies could $1 million buy?

I guess it really boils down to blame. For a year I have watched Ashley Banfield travel all around the world asking pretty much everyone what they thought of the Sept. 11 attacks. Most of the time the people being interviewed say something along the lines of how the United States is always ruining something and or is the supreme cause of everything that is wrong with the world.

A year ago I took literally hundreds of pictures to document the impact of the attacks on campus. Ironically, most were lost. But I will always remember what I saw through the eye of my lens that day.

More to Discover