I was 14 years old on September 11th, 2001. I walked into my Biology class and an acquaintance of mine told me " we are going to war". At this point I had not heard the news. So naturally I was rather confused as to why he would say such a thing.
My teacher walked in with tears in her eyes, and she broke the news to those of us who did not know. A plane had crashed into one of the world trade center buildings. She turned on the TV and we watched. I did not know what to think as I saw the replay of the plane crashing into the building.
At this point I, like many others, thought it was just a horrible accident. All I could think of was the poor people who had died in that plane. Little did I know, it was just the start of what is arguably one of the worst days in American history.
I will never forget watching the news crew talking, when all of a sudden, a second plane comes out of nowhere and just crashes into the other building. It was then, that I, along with everyone else, realized this was far more than just a horrible accident.
Many in the classroom were crying. I was more or less in shock. I had grown up thinking all the typical patriotic tripe that most others had heard. " This is America the greatest and most loved country in the world. We have the best army in the world and no one could ever hit us on our own soil. We are unstoppable"....
This second plane hitting, marked the beginning of an "awakening" for me. Now, I hate to use that word, as it is often used as an insult, telling others to wake up and stop being sheeple, but it fits. I was slowly realizing, that things were not quite as I had been raised to believe.For the first time I realized, that we are vulnerable. We are not perfect. We can be hurt.
We spent the rest of the day, watching the news in each classroom, wondering... just what to do next.... Hearing the news of a plane crashing into the Pentagon, and even into a field in Pennsylvania.After school, I was picked up by my dad. This was the very first time I was to hear of Osama Bin Laden. We talked about it on the way home and listened to the news on the radio.
I remember him speculating that Osama Bin Laden, was the one responsible. I cannot recall his reasons for thinking it was him, but it seems, he was right. I got home to find every TV in the house showing the news, each on a different news station.
All I could do was sit and watch. I recall watching as the death toll rose and rose. Still ultimately unsure of what to think of everything that had unfolded before me.I guess you could say, I was in shock. Shock that this could even happen. Shock that so many had died. Shock... that our country was bleeding.
I never hear much about this, but I remember when the no fly order was placed across the nation. The only aircraft allowed in the air, were military and government aircraft. Now, living just a few miles away from a private airport, things seemed especially quiet.
The lack of aircraft noise, just made the events, that much spookier... It was as if the US had had the wind knocked out of it, so it could not make a noise.... I will never forget that eerie quiet. Never.
The evening after the flight ban was placed,my heart raced in fear as I heard a helicopter coming towards our house. It was then that I realized how scared I was. How hurt I was. I rushed outside to see what it was, half way convinced I was about to witness another tragedy. What I found though, was a government helicopter flying by though.
It was then that I finally cried. "they're all dead" I said. "They were murdered...but why?"
Yes I was still rather naive, and was only learning to realize, that the US was not always as loved by others as much as we loved our own country....
As time went by though, I started opening up to the realities of the world... Harsh realities, that the world is an ugly place, and even my own country is not so pristine as I had thought.
Yet, I, like most of the country at the time, wanted to go in there and get those bad guys, who would dare hurt our country. Now, we did go in eventually, but I found myself growing increasingly frustrated and confused... Why are we pursuing Suddam, if Osama was the one responsible?
I stood by and watched as we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, and slowly, along with the rest of the nation, grew wary, after it seemed we either could not or would not find Bin Laden.
Look at me, getting into the politics. It is hard to talk about all this with out getting into opinions and all that, so bear with me when I stray.
The events of that day have stuck with me. They have forever been burned into my head and heart. Ever year around this time I hear people saying " Never forget"... How could I thought? The wounds are so deep. It hurts today, just like it did when it happened. The wounds are deep enough, that I am unsure I will ever truly heal.
edit on 7-9-2011 by gimme_some_truth because: (no reason given)