September 11, 2001.
I remember every minute of that day.
I remember waking up, going through my closet, and picking out what I wanted to wear that day.
I'll wear this tank top today...
It was a black chic shirt that had the skyline of the twin towers and NYC. Ironic, huh?
I remember the school bell ringing. I remember walking the hallways to my next morning class. It was Math.
I remember walking into the classroom and noticing the TV on. My teacher and only a few students were seated, watching.
I remember seeing only one building that looked like only a few floors were on fire. "How are they going to stop that fire all the way up there?" I thought.
I remember one friend of mine saying out loud that the news said it was a possible terrorist attack.
I remember not thinking much of the situation. A few floors on fire in a tall building, a few people "terrorizing" other people, not much of a big deal, right? (I came from the Columbine generation where even my high school had an emergency evacuation because there was a "bomb threat" or a possible "terrorist attack". I was hearing things like that all the time. Sadly, those words, "bomb" and "terrorist", had become immune to my 17-year-old self and my peers.) So, I ignorantly said out loud, "Well...THAT SUCKS!" and proceeded to empty my book out of my bag.
I remember continuing to watch the footage as more students flowed into the classroom when suddenly, almost as if I imagined it, another plane hits the other tower. And everyone freaks out.
What just happened??
It's a terrorist attack. I understand it a little bit more, but still confused.
I remember the rest of the school day hardly doing anything in all of my classes. In fact, during English we just sat and watched the whole hour. My teacher believed what was happening was more educational and more important.
The bell rings yet again, time for the next class.
As I walk down the hallway I'm suddenly self conscious of my shirt because kids here and there are crying. Their fathers were in NYC for work that day.
I then use my binder in hand to cover up the front of my shirt as I keep on walking.
For my next period I was a teacher aid at the front office of the school. (I was a senior what do you expect?) I remember I asked if I could change my shirt and the teacher didn't hesitate to agree. Good thing I had my cheerleading bag for afterschool that day. I just put on a plain black tank top instead.
I remember that was my busiest day working in the front office. Phone calls were pouring in from mothers wanting to send a message to their child that their dads were ok...
I remember feeling sad. Feeling vulnerable. Feeling angry. Feeling confused. How could they do that to us? What have we done to deserve this?
Every year since that day I get those same feelings. Sad. Vulnerable. Angry...
Being all the way across the pond, when I first heard that President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed I was so happy. I think I even said out loud, "Oh, Hallelujah!"
I really wished at that moment that I was in America celebrating with the rest of the country. Not celebrating in the fact that another life has ended, another person killed in this hatred for America war. No, that was not it. I was rejoicing in the fact that some kind of justice was finally served. That the man responsible is dead and got what he deserved, sorta. I was also rejoicing in the fact that this may serve as some kind of means to an end for the people of NYC, the people of America.
Now it is 10 years later. And I will always remember.
We don't have a TV in our house and we aren't living in America so I haven't been able to see all the flashbacks and accounts of that horrible day over and over again. I only saw a few 9/11 specials on TV in Scotland. Tim and I still could not get our eyes off the TV when watching them. The chaos, the scare, the screams, the confusion. What a horrible event. I get chills still and I cry still. And nothing gets me more than seeing people, children even, celebrating in the streets of Pakistan as they watch footage from their TVs of the towers blown up and falling down. Awful.
But as with any afflication, we must move forward, we must be stronger because of it no matter how difficult. How extrememly difficult it is. I'll never forget how as a nation we became more unified and God-fearing people after 9/11. I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it until the end...
I love my country. And I'm proud to be an American. May we always remember.