When you’re a kid, ten years seems like forever.
An eternity that will never arrive.
When you’re 13, you want to be 16 so that you can drive. When you’re 16 you want to be 18 so you can graduate. When you’re 18 you want to be 21 so that you can drink and be considered an “adult.” Time doesn’t move quick enough and you’re always reaching for that next thing…that next goal…that next milestone.
Ten years ago this week seems like yesterday.
I know the whole world will be stopping to remember their whereabouts on 9/11.
It’s hard to fathom just how long ago it was. How much our country has changed; the opposition we have encountered, and the perseverance through which we’ve fought this war.
It feels like yesterday when I watched those towers fall. I’ll never forget that day…forget my whereabouts. Forget who I was with…
I was sitting in my high school Pre-Algebra Class…I can’t remember the room number, but I remember the surroundings. Remember that we were doing Quadratic Equations on the overhead projector. I was sitting in the 6th seat back, second row from the right side of the room. My friends surrounded me: Danielle to the front, Matt behind me (with Shea behind him), Melissa to the right….
It was a normal day. Another day just like all the others we’d experienced as 9th graders so far. We were passing Strawberry Cream Savers back and forth and wishing that our class would end. We got the strange announcement from the principal to stop all of our work and turn on the television. SCORE! We thought…An excuse to get out of doing our classwork…
When we turned on the station, the first plane had just hit the World Trade Center. Hushed whispers filled the room as our young minds tried to figure out how someone could be stupid enough to fly a plane into such a big building. It was surreal. Watching something so significant unfold. Our teacher started talking about the 1993 bombing, and how unusual it was the Towers had been there for so long without anyone ever flying into them.
Then we saw it.
The second plane.
Careening right towards its target.
The second tower of the World Trade Center.
This wasn’t an accident.
It was a fluke.
It wasn’t a mistake.
It was an attack.
A deliberate and hatred filled attack on our country. On our nation. On our freedom and our people.
Again, we were transfixed by the sheer devastation of it.
For the longest time we just sat…watching. No one spoke. No one barely breathed. We just watched…trying to comprehend how something so terrible could have possibly just happened.
The rest of the day was spent with books closes and eyes on the screens of the TV’s in our classrooms. No one taught. No one lectured. We just watched as history unfolded before our very eyes. Watched as the world changed right in front of us.
We did discuss the reality of it with our teachers. Acknowledged that we now lived in a different society. A society plagued by an impending war and terrorism. A society devastated by an attack on our own land, against our own people.
I was filled with anger. With hatred. With disgust for the people that would do and COULD do something so heartless. Something so devastating to a nation so great.
I’ve never felt pride in my country the way that I did that day, and every day since. I stayed glued to the news coverage for weeks after the attack. Watching the story continue to unfold. Learning who this Osama bin Laden character was and wondering if we’d ever catch him. I bought every News Stand magazine that covered the events. I read the newspapers. I transfixed myself with CNN and HLN before school.
We were, and still are, living in a world changed.
None of us will ever be the same as we were before that day.
Everything about our great nation shifted that day.
I’ll remember that day the way that my grandparents remembered Pearl Harbor.
And I’ll remember those lives lost, those sacrifices made, and the freedom that rang true. And still rings.
Where were you on 9/11? Do you still remember it like it was yesterday?
Linking up to Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop today…