Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 9/11

I was on Facebook which got me thinking about the significance of today. Nine years ago today I was a 7th grader headed off to junior high school. I walked to school as usual with the neighborhood kids and my little brother(jr. high and elementary shared one building). During first hour our very passionate Social Studies teacher got interrupted by the Principal. Stepped out into the hallway for a moment and then came back to announce to the class that the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. It was so surreal my brain relegated it to being her discussing a historical event.

It didn't really hit the gravity of what was going on until I got to second hour where I had Math. Then it really hit me that the planes flying into the Twin Towers were not just a historical event that was actually happening as we spoke. After we had done that day's lesson on factoring/FOIL-ing our math teacher turned on the TV and let us watch a bit while we worked on our math homework. At some point in there I just started quietly sobbing. My aunt lives in Manhattan and could have very well been in Lower Manhattan heading through the subway(under the towers) to Brooklyn has she did occasionally weekday mornings.  During Math they broke in with the breaking news about the plane at the Pentagon. I pretty well lost it at that point because I had another Aunt in the DC area.

Third hour brought an escape about halfway through. My mom picked me up from school to go get braces put on my teeth. Sitting in the orthodontists' office was a very surreal experience. Normally he had classic rock tunes playing. However, that day the only thing on the radio was news of the Twin Towers. Thankfully while I was getting my braces put on my mom got word from Grandma that both my aunts were safe. My dad also called at that point to let my mom know that he would be coming home soon-ish as they were evacuating all the tall office buildings in downtown but that they had also set up a police/national guard line so it might take a while.

I headed back to school for a day that pretty much flew by until last hour when we all went over to church to have a prayer service(I went to Christian schools PreK-12). The elementary kids had just been told that there had been an attack on America (or something vague like that). The junior high kids had been told the basics of what happened. We prayed for those who were working to defend us, treating survivors, searching for survivors, and finally those who had lost their lives. When we got out of school my mom picked us up(a rarity). We came home and watched it unfold on TV a bit and then did homework and ate dinner and got sent to bed early. Right before bed when I was changing out into my PJ's I noticed that I had started my period for the first time ever(I'll never forget the day of my first ever period that's for sure).  That was the day that the reality of war and adulthood started to become real to me. I finally 'got' politics and world policy(even though I'd been listening to NPR & BBC as well as reading the NY Times for years).

I as all those who are old enough to really remember that day will never allow those who lost their lives because of our nation's way of life to be forgotten. For as long as I live I will remember and retell the story to those who were not around or not old enough to really understand what was going on.

G-d Bless those who died that day, those brave men and women who ran INTO the burning, collapsing buildings, those who worked on the relief/recovery efforts afterward, all those who have worked and died to defend our freedom/way of life in the years since, and all those whose lives have been forever changed by the events that unfolded that fateful day. Gone but never forgotten.


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