Today, I have read and seen many people recounting their memories of the events of ten years ago, during the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington DC and I just figured that I would share my memory of that truly horrific day.
Exactly ten years ago on this day I was 12 years old and it was my second day of the 6th grade. I remember waking up early, like I did every morning on a school day and the main worry in my mind up to that point was “what was my locker combination again”?
That morning however was different than my normal mornings, as I was not at my house. My younger brother and myself were staying at my great-grandmothers house because our Mom was on her way to Portland Airport to board a plane to Boston and have a week long stay with my Aunt there. My Great-Grandma lived literally down the street from my school so it was the only logical place for us to stay during our moms absence.
I got up and got dressed and went out to the kitchen to make a bowl of cereal and watch cartoons until it was time for me to go to school. My grandma was already up like usual (she usually gets up at the crack of dawn) and I heard my brother, Brandon groggily getting out of bed..however, there was something different about this morning.
Shortly after I got up and was about to get some breakfast the phone rang. I recognized the caller ID as someone from my cousin Matts house so I answered it and my cousin Matt was on the phone. He was saying something about an event that was going on and that we should turn on the TV, however I completely misunderstood him and thought he was saying something about a guy with a gun running around his town (he is very hard to understand over the phone, even today) So I told grandma and she went to turn on the TV and thats when I saw the first images of the World Trade Center towers burning.
Because of an interest in tall buildings I had back then, I knew what the World Trade Center towers were, because they were two of the tallest buildings in the US at the time. Grandma and myself watched the TV for a while and we were later joined Brandon and we all tried to soak in what had happened. From what I understood of the situation, two planes had been flown into the World Trade Center. By the time we had found out about it, they had already determined that the planes hitting were not deliberate, and the reports were coning out sometime before I left for school that another plane had been flown into the Pentagon in Washington DC. When they showed the footage of the second plane hitting while the TV cameras were glued on the tower that was already hit, i was shocked. I was old enough to understand that this was significant. My grandma was comparing the events of that day to Pearl Harbor, which happened when she was young.
Now for me personally, I think the scariest part of the whole ordeal was when the news started reporting that the planes that had been flown into the WTC and the Pentagon (and later the news of United 93 crashing in Pennsylvania) had been hijacked. Then I thought of my mom and how she was going to be flying to Boston that morning. I kept thinking “they are taking the planes, what if they took the plane that mom was on”. However, she had called us right before Brandon had to leave for school to tell us that she was ok.
Before that day, I had never heard the word “terrorism” but when I got to school, many of the classes that I went to had the news on the TV, and naturally many people were too distracted to do schoolwork properly. After school got out, I got home and grandma had told us that mom was on her way home, but I already knew from the news that she was coming home as all air traffic had been grounded that day.
i remember that September 11th was a day of shock and sadness, a day of e fear and a day of anger. But what do I think was the most amazing part? The way that this country came together. September 11th was a day when we all were full of sadness and fear, but September 12th…a different story. September 12th was a day when America stood together and in one voice we said “WE WILL NOT BE AFRAID”
The goal of terrorism is to instill fear into a population, and thats where I think that Al Queda failed. On September 11th, Osama Bin Laden did not fill the hearts of Americans with fear, he filled it with anger, and with a thirst for vengeance, a vengeance for the 2740 innocent people that perished for the ambitions of fear mongerers like Al Queda.
The thing that i have seen that is abundant as an opening line for your 9/11 memory is “I remember 9/11” But truth be told i think it is redundant so say something like that. Anyone that was old enough to read and understand what happened on that day remembers it. Even if you did not know anyone personally that died in the attacks, you were still moved by the tragic events of that day
Let this day be a day of remembrance.. let us remember the victims of American Airlines 11 and American Airlines 77 and United Airlines 175. Let us remember the heroes of United Airlines 93, who refused to be pawns in the terrorists plans and paid for it with their lives. Let us remember the Victims of The World Trade Center towers and the brave members of the New York Police and the New York Firefighters who risked their lives, some of them losing theirs to save the innocents of those horrific attacks. And the Victims inside the Pentagon also. Lets remember all of the men and women who fight and have fought in the war on terror after the attacks. But most of all lets remember to not only make September 11th a day of remembrance, lets make it a day of unity, a day when we all come together and say that “we are americans, and we will not be intimidated by terror”
God Bless America my home sweet home