September 11, 2001. I was a sixth grader. I remember the day going something like this..
The morning was typical. I don’t remember anything out of the ordinary until after lunch. We had a few minutes before our next class started after lunch each day so our teachers would usually walk us from the cafeteria to our classrooms where we’d watch Channel 1 news. On this particular day, our teachers told us that Channel 1 wasn’t on (weird to us but we didn’t question it) and took us outside to play for those few minutes. We were young and since this was before everyone had cell phones, we had no clue what was really going on or why they wouldn’t let us watch Channel 1. I can remember the sound of the intercom throughout the school what seemed like every 3 seconds for the rest of the day calling kids out of class because their parents where there to pick them up. I have no clue how our teachers were able to teach, or if they even tried, knowing what they knew and were keeping from us. Looking back, I’m sure the teachers didn’t want to scare us and wanted our parents to be the ones who explained to us what was happening. I’m sure they knew we wouldn’t understand and would have a lot of questions.
On the bus that afternoon some of the older kids who had been brought to school late had spread the news that something had happened. I think they were even allowed to watch Channel 1 that day. Since we had been kept from the news in 6th grade, it wasn’t until I got home and sat down to watch TV that I saw the images of the planes crashing into the Towers. I watched TV all evening and remember being terrified because my grandmother was traveling from TN to WI and I was afraid she was on one of those planes (she wasn’t and I’m not even sure she was actually traveling that day, I just know I was concerned for her). I don’t think I was really able to grasp what was going on and what it meant for our country at that time.
Though I was too young to understand and only have certain memories of that day, I know that for thousands of people the horrific memory of losing loved ones is burned in their minds forever. I read something last night that really hit me. It said, “14 years ago tonight millions of Americans went quietly to bed with no thought that, the next morning, their world would forever change. That night, hundreds packed flight bags they would not live to open. Thousands slept with loved ones for the last time.”
I can’t imagine the heartbreak and emotion that those who lost loved ones feel on this day each year. I’m so thankful for the people who sacrificed their lives for others that day and each day thereafter.
9.11 We Remember