Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years Ago

10 Years.

10 years ago our world as we knew it changed. Planes hit the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

Terrorists.

Two wars and the loss of so many lives.

I haven't shared on my blog where I was when it happened and I thought this year would be fitting.

10 years ago I was a Junior in High School and, like every early morning, I was in zero period Jazz Choir going through class like usual.

Then Kristen Eddings (future Miss Washington 2007) rushes in late (as usual) but then cries out "World War III has just started!" For a second we all just stared at her then asked what happened. She tells us that some planes just hit the World Trade Center in New York. I had no idea what the World Trade Center was...

Our classroom did not have the cable hooked up for television reception so all of us Jazz Choir kids head across the hall to the band room to find out what happened. We were shocked and confused and then it was time to head out to the commons.

Out there everyone was in a nervous chatter. Everyone was watching the tv screens.

I know I did see the second plane hit the tower but I don't remember if I was in the band room or in the commons. I remember just watching in near horror as I realized this surreal experience was actually happening.

Then the first tower collapsed. I was in stunned. I was standing near the school's information center near the front doors. Surrounded by my friends we watched speechless.

Soon people talked about war. People asked who did it. Brief, naive discussions about the draft and that many of our friends were of age or soon would be. Several had already pre-enlisted. I already had a few friends who were active duty. If we went to war, how long would it last?

It was time for first period. I was a TA so I signed in and headed to my class with a favorite teacher, Mr. Seidel. He had the tv on and those younger students were glued to it. I laid on the floor in the midst of them and stared.

I remember seeing the second tower fall as well.

Soon an announcement was made over the intercom that because of the sensitive nature of the viewing and the stress it was causing to younger students (my school was 7-12 grade) it was decided that all tv's and news would be turned off and classes must resume as usual.

I was pissed. Here we were a military community. History was happening and we could not watch it.

A few kids were picked up by their parents at school.

At the time my family was housing 2 foreign exchange students - 1 from Mexico and 1 from Switzerland. When their families heard about it there was fear, obviously. But since those attacks happened on the other side of the country there was no worry for their safety.

I don't remember much of that day of school. I think I was able to grab a few minutes of viewing between classes. During other classes students had updates from the internet. I can't recall if I had rehearsals or yearbook after school or not... but I do know that with my lack of information I was completely lost as to what happened.

When I got home I wanted to see the news. I wanted to know what happened. For some reason my sister had been home... I think she was sick. She was annoyed that I wanted to watch the news. She said that those attacks had been all over the tv all day long.

My mom thought I was getting paranoid and overly stressed about the situation... but I really just wanted to know what happened.

I don't remember being really upset or scared. I was just confused. As information poured in on who was responsible I was angry. I was sad for all those people who died.

In the following days the Patriotism soared. We had prayer meetings. We wore ribbons on our clothes. Flags flew all over the place. There was a unity to our country that I'd never experienced.

10 years later... where are we now?

I wonder what it will be like talking to my kids about what happened. They've only known a post 9/11 world. Will it be like asking grandparents where they were when Pearl Harbor happened? Or asking my parents where they were when JFK was killed? When the Berlin Wall came down? We experienced a major piece of our country's history. I know I will never forget.


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1 comment:

  1. I too remember being annoyed that we had to go on with class as usual. I was only in the 7th grade at the time (our school was 7th and 8th grade) so they thought they were doing the right thing but now I'm not so sure. I don't think I know any less because we didn't spend the day watching the news but I also think they wanted us to forget while we were in school that something really significant was going on so we could focus or whatever.
    And I do think when we tell our kids about 9/11 it will be like when our parents tell us about JFK and other american tragedies. Our kids will never know the feelings we had but they'll get a unique perspective from us anyways.
    Thanks for sharing your story

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