I wrote this on the ten year anniversary of the attacks (last year). I thought about writing a new, different post, but I think this captures that day and emotions for me all too well. Today's a day to remember those lives who've been taken to soon, both on that day and as a result of that day.
I thought it was just another day in September. A perfect blue filled the sky with only a few white fluffy clouds passing through to say hello. I sat in the middle of the classroom in English class in eighth grade. I was wearing a white shirt with a green skirt. It was picture day.
We had barely been through fifteen minutes of class when another teacher came into the room. One of the twin towers in Manhattan had been hit by a plane. Living 45 minutes from New York City, many of our parents made the daily commute into the city. Something wasn't right. Something was about to hit far too close to home for one too many of us.
As we walked down a silent hall of classrooms filled with currently oblivious students, I was not prepared for what I was about to witness. The TVs weren't on mute when we walked into the library. We didn't even have a moment to sit down as another plane flew into the second tower of the pair. I couldn't believe my eyes. Was this really happening? Were we watching a movie? No, this was real life.
I felt numb. More classes poured into the open space. An announcement came over the loud speaker to return to our classrooms. People were already crying, and a line to use the pay phone began to form. (This was right before the boom of cell phones.) I felt confused, alone, and wondered who I knew in the city that I should be worried about.
The day progressed as scheduled for pictures. I don't remember much of what was said. I remember sitting to take my eighth grade photo and turning to see several friends sobbing. The teachers didn't know what to do. My science teacher had already left for the day because her fiance had been in one of the towers.
"Please look at the camera," stated the photographer. I smiled and took the best class photo of my life, except for my eyes. In my eyes, you could see the sadness and pain, forever imprinted in our hearts.
My mom picked me up from school early, like many of the other parents. We picked up my sister from elementary school and headed home. I sat in front of the TV for hours, holding back tears and watching coverage.
As I write this, tears come to my eyes because of all the pain that happened on that day. Since that day, I choose not to look at photos or video footage. Maybe it's trying to pretend like it didn't happen, or maybe it's because it hits too close to my heart.
Ten years later still feels like yesterday. Ten years later are ten years marking a day of events that shouldn't have happened. But they did, so now we celebrate. We must celebrate the unity that came from such a horrid day and celebrate the lives lost that day.
....I remember 9/11. Do you?