Where was I? 9/11/11

I did not post pictures for this, simply because they would be depressing and I think we all know the pictures well enough.

It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since the terrorist attack on the twin towers. The main question that seems to be asked is “Where where you when the twin towers fell?” It seems that some people use this phrase to look down on others, in a condescending voice of sorts, like “Where were you? Why weren’t you helping?” I like to look at it as a question of growth, how we have grown both as a country and as individuals. What we have now, we couldn’t even imagined back then, the growth of technology, the killing of Osama, how high tech our security¬† is now. Of course we have had our downfalls, especially economically but I think all in all we have moved forward.

So the question rises once again, “Where was I?” When the attack first happened I was 11 years old and in fifth grade, my birthday had just passed a couple days ago. My favorite teacher was teaching us some math techniques when the announcement came over the loudspeaker “Teachers please turn on your tv and turn it to channel ___” Mrs. Graham shot up like a bullet, which was strange for her considering her age, clicking on the tv and turning it to the news channel. The image of the two towers billowing smoke is still in my mind. We of course didn’t understand what was going on, but we could see the fear on Mrs. Grahams face, she called for a moment of silence and we all listened. They continued playing the news through the rest of the day, listening for anything vital as the lessons continued to be taught. The day eventually ended but the program continued to play at home. I still had no idea what was going on, I couldn’t even fathom how it would affect the rest of my life. There was one point when one of the towers started to fall, I was standing next to the fridge, looking at the tv, when I tried to crack a joke. Now I’m not sure if I said it because I didn’t understand or because I was nervous (as I sometimes do) but I said “Look! It looks like the tower of Piza!” At that moment my mom snatched me up grabbing me by the arms and yelled at me saying “This isn’t funny! People are dying!” I think at that point it all became real to me. Though I still didn’t completely understand, I could tell that this was in fact something serious.

That was the last memory I had of that day. The weeks, then months, then years passed,and in that time we found out it was a terrorist attack and the war started. In this time I met several people who had family up in the towers. Even today I can’t even imagine what that would be like. Our neighbors son went off to war, and we kept sending him care packages, he is back now and I see him nearly every day but don’t really know him. As for me, I am now in college, learning how to be a teacher and still meeting new people all the time that were affected by that now, almost sacred, day. It makes me wonder what this day will mean to the future generations, will it be like us hearing about the attack on Pearl Harbor? Where you know it happened but still can’t quite grasp what it would be like on that day? I have been to ground zero a few times before they started building the memorial, you expect it to be a pile of rubble, to see the symbolic cross made out of the cross beams that graced every front page of the newspaper at some point. But when I went, it looked like a construction site, bulldozers picking up dirt, the only sign that there ever was a building there, was the blank square in the middle of a city. People still gathered around it and posters were strewn all over the fence that was covered with mesh. Faces on the pieces of paper that rustled in the wind, they were missing people, their loved ones not giving up hope in a hopeless situation. Yes this event has truly changed the outlook of this country, bringing some of us closer, dividing a few of us apart, what was an attempt to tear us apart by malevolent forces has made us stronger, especially on this day. To all of those that perished from this attack, may you rest in peace, to those who lost loved ones because of this attack, I am sorry for your loss, but please take comfort in the fact that life does move on, and your loved ones would want you to thrive in the life that you were given. So the question arises once again, to all those reading this “Where were you?”

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