Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th

Where were you on September 11th? A question we ask each other, a question our children and our children's children will ask us. Of course we all know the answer. What we were doing the millisecond we found out, who we were with and where we were will forever be etched into our memories. This day, much like December 7th, 1941 was a day that shall live in infamy. It seems like only yesterday I was sitting in Mrs Durr's class. As a fourth grader, I didn't really pay much attention to what the adults did. I was more worried about retaining my customary top spot, grade wise, in the class.  That day however, everyone took notice. My teacher's husband traveled a lot for work and not so unexpectedly, he was on a plane that day headed for Washington DC. He was fine but she was unable to reach him for quite awhile so she was of course inconsolable. Once the teachers found out, the entire school broke into hysterics but we were not told why. Our teachers spent almost the entire day out in the hall together crying while we watched movies. When I got home I saw that my mother, who never really watched the news, was doing nothing but watching the news and they kept showing a video of a building falling down. She told me it was a movie being made. I was a dumb kid so I bought it and went back to probably playing with Barbies. That night, my parents dropped my brother, sister and I off at my grandmothers so they could go to dinner. My dad pulled my grandmother into another room to talk to her and then they left. My grandfather loaded several gas cans into his car to go get gas and was gone for hours. We were told we could only watch videos that night because there  was "some stuff happening on tv that my parents didn't agree with". However, I was a brat and there was something on TV that I wanted to watch so I of course had to beg my grandmother to let me watch it. She left my blissfully ignorant brother and sister to watch Alvin & the Chipmunks and pulled me into her room. She told me she would let me see what was on TV but that I mustn't cry. What I saw on that TV was more than any nine year old could possibly comprehend. The next day at school, there was a mixture of children whose parents had told them about what had happened and those whose parents, like my parents, attempted to leave their innocence somewhat intact. In a cruel twist, those who hadn't been made aware of what was happening found out from their panicked and misinformed peers and were all the more upset.

My story is in no way atypical from that of most of my peers. While people my age are among the youngest able to really remember what happened that day and where they were, the repercussions of it have irrevocably altered the American way of life. Our feeling of security in our own country will never again be as certain as it was before that day.

September 11, 2001 an entire nation lost its innocence. America had not since Pearl Harbor had its borders so violently breeched. The idea that violence of this caliber could reach our own shores was unfathomable before this. America went to war in other countries, the violence did not come to us. Now our guard is up. Now we know that this country is not infallible. Politics aside, what happened that day was beyond awful. Whether you are a republican, democrat, libertarian, socialist, communist or whatever, today is a day that we must all remember what we lost.

(There is some "language" in the following clips, but I'd be saying some pretty strong words too if I was watching this happen.)
Good Morning America's Coverage of the Attack- Second Plane Hits
A News Reporter Has His Camera on the Ground- You Hear the First Plane Hit
Only Known Footage of the First Plane Hitting- Taken By a Fireman
Bush Finding Out
Never Forget

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