September 11, 2001

I remember having a panic attack that morning before everything happened.  I was in seventh grade.  I remember hearing teachers crying and screaming at school; there were computers and televisions in most of the classrooms.  We watched the Towers come down.  I remember my classmates staring at the screen in horror.

My dad was supposed to be in the Pentagon that day.  He had a business call there.  I can’t remember much else; my best friend is a year younger than me, and she remembers being dragged into my classroom to try to get me to stop crying.  I was sent to the office at some point.  I tried my dad’s cell phone.  No answer.  Again.  No answer.  Again.  And again.  No answer.

My mom was teaching at a different school and I couldn’t reach her.  The rest of the day passed in a blur.  I don’t really remember very much, honestly.

By the time I turned the corner and saw my dad’s car in the driveway, I collapsed on the road.  My best friend helped me up and home.  He was sitting at the kitchen table, eyes glassy.  I started sobbing.  He was alive.

The business call got rescheduled early that morning and the battery in his large, clunky cell phone was dead.

I remember the horror of 9/11.  I remember hearing everyone in my school cry.  I remember the terror.  My family was lucky.  So many other families were not so lucky.  I live in a military town, and for months after the attack the malls were bare.  All public places were bare.  There were flags everywhere, photos of the people that gave their lives.

I debated posting about 9/11 or not, but I think it needs to be stated again and again that it was a national tragedy.  Not something that effected no one you knew.  At age 12, I knew what terror meant.

Please, say a prayer for those who died that day.  Remember them and their bravery.

God Bless America!  God Bless us all!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Emerald Barnes
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 02:18:06

    Oh, wow. I couldn’t imagine what you must have felt that day, and I’m so glad that your dad’s okay. But you’re right. We shouldn’t think of it as a day when no one we knew got hurt or died. It impacted the entire country. For ten years, brave soldiers have been giving their lives for us. We owe them thanks and probably much more than that.

    Reply

  2. wolfraven80
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 13:22:14

    The 9/11 attacks didn’t just impact the United States; they impacted the entire world. Canada has had troops in Afghanistan for nearly ten years– they only just left the country – with losses of 157 soldiers, which is a significant number for a small country like us.

    I can’t image what it would have been like to have been affected so personally on that day and I’m very glad to hear things turned out all right for your family. (Though the fact that you were in seventh grade and I was in grad school just makes me feel ancient ;P ). I do, however, remember the day quite well and remember being profoundly affected by it. I didn’t have classes that day and I got to eat breakfast and turned on the TV in time to see the second plane hit. Things were really strained on campus all that week. It was just so strange…

    I think one of things that really stays with about that day is how chaotic it was. We have a nicely fleshed-out narrative of the whole thing now, but when it was happening it was entirely different. The announcers at first weren’t sure if the initial crash had been an accident or not. When the first tower fell, there was so much dust and debris in the air that the reporters didn’t even realize at first that it had collapsed. There were conflicting reports about the attacks on the Pentagon. At one point there was an announcement that a car bomb had gone off in DC, which turned out to be completely false. Then there was the plane crash in Pennsylvania; no one knew how that fit into the picture at the time.

    We make narratives of past events in order to understand them, but the actual experience of an event is nothing like the history that we create afterwards. That’s one of the lessons I took away from that.

    Reply

    • nerdywordyjana
      Sep 13, 2011 @ 23:18:36

      It’s tragic when you think about just how many people have died because of that day. It’s… heartbreaking really. 157 deaths is significant no matter the size of the country. The fact that one person had to die because of 9/11 is a tragedy. And I truly wasn’t trying to downplay how it effected the rest of the world; 9/11 was a global tragedy. I’m just thankful that the death count hasn’t been as high as some of the wars in the past.

      I don’t remember how the news came in, really. I remember hearing so many things, but most of the day just went by in a blur. I wish I could remember the details more clearly; I feel like everyone should remember it.

      Reply

  3. wolfraven80
    Sep 15, 2011 @ 13:58:19

    Don’t worry about it. I just feel the need to mention it because it seems like a lot of the time people outside of Canada don’t even know about our involvement whereas it’s a big deal to us.

    I remember a lot about that day and about the mood on campus that whole week. One thing that really weirds me out even now is to watch TV shows from the 90s that are set in NYC. They often have quick shots of the city where you’ll see the twin towers. It still blows my mind to think that they don’t exist anymore.

    Reply

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