Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Remember...

I remember September 11, 2001- do you?

I was in 8th grade in my US History class. Mrs. Reese, my very favorite teacher, was teaching us- I think something about artifacts or something. I remember her leaving the class for a few moments and coming back with this look on her face. Something was terribly wrong. I think our class was one of the first to know because this was personal to our teacher. Her husband is in the army and was sure to be deployed. Little did we know that she was pregnant at the time. She hardly got any words out before the PA system came on and the Principal attempted to tell us what happened... no one believed it until Mrs. Reese turned the tv on and let it speak for itself.

I was sitting next to Kaylyn- one of my closest friends at the time, and her heart just sank. Everyone started talking to one another after a few minutes. She told me that she needed to call her mom who was only a few blocks away from the World Trade Center. It turns out some of her family friends were indeed in the building when planes crashed.

Another boy in my class was saying that his mom is flying from DC to LA- he was worried his mom was on the flight. Thankfully, as it turned out, she missed the flight. I was sitting there mystified. Part of me was wondering if this was really happening. Part of me was totally terrified. I knew my mom worked close by to the pentagon... questions began rolling through my head... "Is she alive? Did she get hurt?"... If I remember correctly, my mom saw the plane coming down that hit the pentagon. I can't even imagine.

We were all called into an early lunch that day and dismissed quickly after. I didn't understand why. Were we at risk of being attacked? Was something else wrong? Did they just want us to be with our families? What about the kids whose parents are trapped in traffic or at work. My dad was home not long after I got home- I think he brought work home with him. My sister was home because they got out early too- but I think she quickly went to a friend's house. Me- I remember watching the TV blankly for a while... just confused...not sure if it was really happening. My mom wasn't able to get home until very late that night- she was required to stay at work until all pediatric patients involved in the day's events were taken care of.

I remember after a few days, selfishly complaining that I couldn't watch my usual TV shows becuase it was all only news(we didn't have cable yet). Looking back I think to myself, "Man- how stupid of me... people were dying and all I cared about was my own entertainment."

I think it finally set in after a while. I remember my writing teacher had us write daily. Not long after September 11, she had us write about our reactions to the day so that we could process a bit. Later in the year, I wrote a short story about a girl who was supposed to be there, but wasn't. Clearly it effected me in ways I didn't know when it first happened.

I think the thing that really struck me about the whole thing is how many people were spared. many were not, but there are so many stories of people who were supposed to be there but weren't. They missed their train, they overslept, they were sick, they took a day off.... it's just incredible to me. A miracle, really.

Remember this day- it will be important forever in American history. For those who were directly effected by the events, I pray that despite all of the evil, something good has come of all of this for you and your family. To the firefighters, police, and EMT's who were there that day- Thank you. To all of you brave soldiers- thank you for putting your life on the line for me. To all of those who have lost soldiers- they are so corageous and I hope you are proud of the freedom they have protected in our nation.

It still baffles me how someone could be so cruel as to purposefully take so many lives from people who did nothing wrong. They attacked our nation as a whole when only very few did anything to deserve it. I'm not going to say our country is perfect and blameless- there are definetly things that are corrupt and wrong. But it breaks my heart that so many had to die for the satisfaction of another nation. This event has struck up a war that has yet to be over, which has not only caused the death of many Americans, but many innocent souls in the east.

We can never forget this day. The world forgot too many innocent people to forget.

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