Eleven years ago today a tragedy occurred. The unimaginable happened when the Twin Towers collapsed that morning, changing the New York skyline forever. For our nation, this marked the end of our naïveté thinking we were invincible. For me, it marked the end of any childhood innocence I had inside of me.
Everyone remembers where they were the morning of September 11th, 2001. I still vividly recall details like they happened yesterday. My family was living on the west coast in a suburb outside of Seattle at the time, I was a freshman in high school. Every morning, my mom rode her exercise bike while watching the morning news. My typical routine was to wake up, come downstairs, eat breakfast, then go and chat with my mom for a few minutes. This particular morning, my mom called me into the room as soon as I came downstairs slightly after 6am.
All she did was point to the TV. All I could do was stare. I remembering seeing the images of a plane inside the world trade center with smoke billowing out the gaping hole it left. I was so confused.
As we sat watching, suddenly we saw the second plane crash. My mom and I audibly gasped, our only words repeating “oh my god!” I couldn’t even believe what I was seeing. I remember thinking, WHY is this happening? Who would want to do this to so many innocent people? I had so many questions.
It was hard to pull myself away from the TV that morning. I didn’t want to go to school, and I was terrified that another attack was going to happen. The bus was eerily quiet except for a few choice kids whom I assumed hadn’t heard the news yet. As word spread like wildfire around the school, it’s all anyone could talk about. Half of my classes had lessons for about 15 minutes until we could no longer focus and had to see what was going on in New York.
I remember coming home that night and watching coverage until the wee hours of the morning. I felt so many emotions: sad, confused, worried, angry, scared.
In the days that followed, our nation pulled together for the victims of 9/11. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so patriotic in my life. Every house in our neighborhood hung their American flag, people made signs in support as more and more stories began to be told nationwide. It didn’t matter if you were black, white, Asian, Republican, Democrat, WHATEVER- the point was, we were all American. It’s hard to believe that was all so long ago. I will never, ever forget. America will never forget.