Friday, September 12, 2014

Where Were You? Remembering 9/11

As the day went on yesterday, it was a bit of a mix. People went to work as usual; to school as usual; to life as usual. Yet in the back of our minds and occasionally spoken out loud was the memory of the attack that we, as a country, endured. We've heard about attacks on our soil but for a lot in my generation, it's been in the history books. So here I am the day after to ask you, Where were you when the attack happened?

I was in 6th grade at the time. I remember going to class, as it was still elementary school in my hometown, tired and not wanting to be awake. My teacher tried to explain it to us in a way that we, as children, would understand. Internet was still new to us but she was able to put on a picture of when the first tower was hit. Most of us didn't know what the World Trade Center was but just trying to picture a plane going into the building was scary. She kept that page up throughout the day and refreshing it every now and then to look for updates.

It was the week of the Scholastic Bookfair and my mom was part of the pta who ran it. When it was my turn to go and look at the shopping opportunities in our library, they had a tv set up behind a bookshelf on CNN. I heard it and walked over to see. Honestly more out of curiosity than anything. I remember they had played a replay of the first plane crashing through and then shortly after the second. Tons of smoke filled the screen and it finally hit me that this was big. That's when the live feed came back on and just as I was about to leave, the towers fell. I turned back around to watch the second tower race itself to the ground. I went by and told my mom and the librarian, and they raced over to see. I went back to class and said the towers fell. Instantly, there was a crowd around our one computer with internet and we waited for the page to refresh.

The rest of the school day was a blur but we turned on the news as soon as we got home that early afternoon. The phone rang and it was my uncle who lived over on the east coast. My mom tried calling him earlier but had no luck. He was at work but he traveled a lot at the time, especially by plane and was recently in the NYC. That's when he and my mom just broke down. He had just gotten back home from NYC the day before. He visited the the World Trade Center and was at the top of one tower, a day or two before 9/11. We prayed and thanked God that he was home. He's the cool uncle and even though we don't see him much, we have been close and even closer since then.

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