When I think back to September 11, 2011, I can remember vividly the moment I heard about the attacks. The edges of that day are blurry, but those first few moments remain. I was a high school junior in the second week of school. I was heading to lunch from French class. We had middle lunch, which meant that we went to class, went to lunch, then went back to the same class. Teachers hated it. But that day, the students that came back from lunch were quite different than the group that left 30 minutes before.
As I carried my peanut butter and jelly to the cafeteria my friend James, a senior, told me what he knew. I didn’t know what to think. Then I wondered if Boston was next, and suddenly remembered that both my parents had went to work in the city today, where usually only one was. There was no question that a suburban high school 20 miles from the Massachusetts capital was safe, but what about Boston? Kids whose parents worked in the many skyscrapers were scared.
There was talk of sending students home, but the school thought it safer to keep us. They were probably right. Dismissal would have caused panic and sent terrified freshman, still adjusting to a new school, home to empty houses. Teachers were told to keep TVs off but to let kids talk. Foreign language classes dropped the “no English in class” rule as emotions were hard to translate. The cool teachers, journalism and TV production, turned the news on anyway.
I don’t remember how I got home. Did I have an after-school activity? I was too young to drive on my own so I must have taken the bus. I don’t know what I was wearing, despite a methodical outfit planning routine. But that first hour is clear. I think, in a lot of ways, that is the day I grew up. It’s the first world event in my lifetime that I can pinpoint the day and know what I was doing, and how I felt. I remember the confusion and terror, of being old enough to understand and yet still have no idea what this meant.
9 years later, on September 11, 2010, I was getting ready to celebrate my bridal shower. When planning, we debated whether the date was OK. In the end, we decided to make the day a happy one, to take back the day. But we never forgot, and we never will. It will never be just another date on the calendar. Every September 11 for the rest of my life I will take a moment to remember.Comments (0) Read More >