By Amanda Knox
I was fourteen when I first learned the word, “Casualty.” It was September 11th, 2001, I was a freshman in highschool, and that word, louder than “Tragedy” and “Terror,” rang out to me. I didn’t quite understand it at first. I gleaned that it must mean a person killed in an act of war, but didn’t that mean a soldier? Weren’t the people who worked in the World Trade Center civilians?
My confusion was rooted in my naivety. Sheltered my entire life in safe Seattle suburbs, 9/11/01 was the first time I realized that war wasn’t just historical. It wasn’t far away. It didn’t just mean fighters, fighting. It meant everyone, dying. “Casualty” meant you, me.
This past week I’ve felt jolted back into that hollowed-out feeling of fragility. I would love to write about other things on my mind—chess, travel, Charlie Brown—but even though I’ve thought about these things too, I’m distracted. My heart hurts.More ›