It’s hard to believe its been 13 years since that tragic happened. I was in high school at the time, I believe as a freshman. I was sitting in second period art class about 9 in the morning. We were going about our day, paying no mind to the teacher and living it up as kids. Our art teacher was in her office while we worked away and she came flying out of her office, frantically trying to get the old TV going. She kept repeating the Towers had exploded. We had no idea by what or how, but it was big. That was something we all knew. She couldn’t get the TV to work and class ended.
The next class went through without incident, we all were talking about it yet some had not heard anything. Then we got to lunch and rumors were flying. There were talks that DC was gone, NYC was gone, all of these insane stories that were heard from others. No one knew the real story. By the end of the day, we knew the Towers had been hit and the rumor was the capital building had been hit. I was scared but really couldn’t comprehend it all. Everything was hearsay and had no real facts without being in front of a TV. Maybe the teachers kept the TVs off for a reason that day.
I got home that afternoon, a backpack full of homework, but I didn’t care, I had to get to a TV. I sat down, opened a soda, and turned on CNN. And there it was. The images repeating over and over. Of the planes flying into the Towers, the buildings collapsing, people running for their lives. Then the images of the injured, the people in the smoke and ash and the brave men and women of the response teams trying desperately to get to the site. Thousands were gone in the blink of an eye.
It’s hard to explain what I felt as my brain tried to process the scale and scope of what I was watching. Seeing these giant plays fly into the Towers like an awful movie. Seeing the Pentagon burning and the field in Pennsylvania smoldering. Not knowing if more was coming, the chaos that was happening and the fear that was gripping the country. I remember feeling the sadness. I remember crying like a baby while I sat there in front of the TV. Then as the news came out that it was an attack, the sadness was joined by anger. I wanted revenge but was also in a state of shock, not knowing who was the enemy or how to deal with the grief that I felt or the nation was dealing with.
Even today, 13 years later, I’m still in tears. I feel it still. I know I’ll never fully understand it all or understand what so many went through and continue to deal with. For me personally, I will always feel this sadness and anger in my heart. May those we lost on this day forever rest in peace. For their families and friends, the prayers will never stop. For those who responded, rushing into the flames to help, we are forever in your debt and nothing we say or do will ever be enough to show how grateful a nation is. To those who defend our country, so we can sleep at night, there are no words so express our thanks for keeping our country free.
We must never forget this day. 9/11 will never be forgotten.