Remembering 9/11

Today is a day of remembrance. Do you remember where you were 11 years ago today? I do. I was sitting in Chemistry with Mrs. Stucky at Roosevelt High School. She gets a phone call in the class room, and then goes out into the hall for a few minutes, and comes back with a TV. My first thought was “Sweet! Movie!”. She proceeded to turn on the TV, and it seems like every channel as something about these two towers that were falling down. I had never heard of the World Trade Center, my head buried firmly under a rock when it came to current events and the news, but I was shocked, and angry, that some jackass was flying a plane into a building. I thought it was an accident at first, but when they said it happened again, I knew it couldn’t be an accident.
We sat in silence, watching it all unfold, and then the bell rang. For a moment, we all just looked at eachother. Do we actually go to our next class? Does this mean someone is coming to war in America? What happens next? We were shuffled out of the room and into the hallway, filled with other students, teenagers, raving one way or another about the attacks. I moved to my next class, American Studies with Mrs. Sitter and Mrs. Schmitz. As I walked in, I saw the TV already up and running against one of the walls. We all sat down, and the few kids who were dumb enough to make a smart ass comment were quickly put in their place by the teachers.
The moment I finally realized the gravity of the situation was when I looked into the face of these teachers who had so much humor and always were smiling and laughing, and I saw something akin to despair mixed with horror. It’s amazing, how youth react to adults, reading their response and learning from it.

Kris and I had this discussion a few weeks ago after watching Newsroom on HBO. For me, there are two moments in history that I will never forget: 9/11 and the day that the president addressed the nation and said that we got Osama Bin Laden.

To my generation: This is our war, this is our Vietnam, Dessert Storm, Pearl Harbor. What do you remember from today 11 years ago?

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