Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Was Thirteen

I really meant to write this post yesterday and now I feel dorky for writing it today. But I wanted to write about it. It'll be my first time ever really talking it.

September 11, 2001.

I was 13 years old. (Don't hate!) I was an eighth-grader in middle school and had never heard of the World Trade Center before then.

As is true with just about everyone else, I began my day like normal. I was taken to school by bus, joked around with friends until the bell rang, and settled into my first-period class. I listened to the announcements and noted that it was one of my many crushes, Marc's, birthday. (And later felt sad as we loaded onto the bus at the end of the day that his birthday was never going to be the same again.)

I ambled along to second period and it wasn't until I was coming into my third-period class that I heard the news.

"The Word Trade towers fell down and went boom."

That's what one of my classmates said to me. Not the best way to describe what happened. And believe me, we let her have it. In the classes that followed, we sat and watched CNN as they described the tragedy. I didn't quite grasp the severity of what had happened.

What was the World Trade Center? Why would someone choose these towers to crash into? And how does it affect me? I have no family living in New York. I was in no shape or form involved in politics.

In my sixth-period class, my assistant principal visited us and led a Q-and-A session where we could voice our questions and get some facts.

I went home and immediately turned on the TV. It was scary. Our country had just been the victim of terrorism. Lives had been lost. People were missing. And the country was in disarray.

But I also remember how our country pulled together. We were no longer Republicans, Democrats, and independents. We were Americans. We drew together as a country. And I know other things were happening, under the Patriot Act. But, as a young 13-year-old, I didn't notice that. Maybe I noticed what the media wanted me to see. But when I think back on September 11, 2001 and the aftermath that followed, I remember patriotism. I remember coming together as a country. I remember feeling scared yet hopeful.
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