OKINAWA 9/11 – Six Lives Breaking Symmetry

OKINAWA 9/11 – Six Lives Breaking Symmetry

Bonnivier began writing Okinawa 9/11 only minutes after the first World Trade Center Tower was hit at 8:45 in the morning in New York. It was 9:45 at night at Kadana Air Force Base in Okinawa.

Just a day or two before, Typhoon Nari had left 500 people dead in the Philippines, 900 miles away, and was headed full force to Okinawa with winds up to 200 miles an hour. It was due any minute.

The story takes place the day before the attack, the day it happened, and the
day after. Within a 72 hour period, the lives of six people and their relationships with each other are changed irrevocably. They are: An American teacher; her landlord, an Okinawan training to break the National bench press record for Japan; a Marine Gunnery Sergeant whose heart is ruled by his Okinawan girlfriend; an American Chaplain fighting doubts of faith and his severe dislike of the Sergeant’s girlfriend;
a Korean girl, the teacher’s favorite student, who is being adopted by an American
Air Force Captain.

There are ancient spiritual forces at work in Okinawa, especially on the heels of Obon, three days of celebrating the dead. These powerful forces combine with Typhoon Nari and the magnitude of what has just happened in New York. It is mercilessly clear that 18 men with very little money and even less military power were able to do terrible harm to the people of the most powerful Nation in the world.

A paradigm of power has twisted and turned and whipped the Western world into an undeniable and completely unacceptable reality. Lives everywhere are changed. These six people on the 57-mile long island of Okinawa, are far from the rest of Japan and from the rest of the world. In the wake of the typhoon and the attack, they surprise themselves and each other as they confront new, terrifying possibilities.

“She looked back at the screen, and words appeared that she couldn’t take in, couldn’t make sense of, about a plane crash and…was it…the World Trade Organization? The words ran across the bottom of the monitor again, superimposed over the status of the typhoon and she could see, underneath the moving script, that the status of the typhoon had changed to TC-1. Still she didn’t feel any difference in the atmosphere and could see nothing had changed outside her window at all. She looked back and tried to read the moving words, but they still didn’t make sense, so she said them out loud, hoping that would help her catch their meaning: “CBS News Live Coverage – Planes Crash into World Trade Center.” Was it some kind of programming mistake? An action movie. It has to be an action movie. Then she heard the typhoon, the winds, flying up the hill, howling. “It’s here.”

Back to the screen, the words, the ones about the typhoon, the ones not moving, said that the winds were gusting to 134 miles per hour. But the planes. Where were the planes? The words that were moving across the typhoon status bar were now accompanied by a picture of what looked like the Pentagon, smoke pouring out of the Pentagon, and then the moving words: White House evacuated. All airports, tunnels, and bridges to New York City have been closed. An American Airlines plane and a United Airlines plane were hijacked, according to Reuters. US Capital and Treasury Departments also evacuated. All aircraft grounded nationwide.

“This is real.”