Freedom isn’t free. Seven years ago today, that point was emphatically proven. Many Americans woke up to talks of attack, death, and utter chaos while others stood and watched it all happen. So where were you? What’s your story? I know mine…
September 11, 2001—A normal day in California. As a high schooler, I woke up and got ready to go to school. As we were getting ready to head out the door with my mom and sister, my grandpa called. I remember being impatient as I watched my mom’s face turn from hurry to shock and terror. She raced back into the house, over to the tv, and turned on the news. It didn’t matter what channel she watched—they all had the same images and messages playing. News reporters guessing at a meaning, at what was going on. Cameramen trying to get good shots of New York’s Twin Towers. Smoke everywhere.
I have to admit something. And to this day it grieves me to realize this. I didn’t care as much as I should have. I was in 9th grade. I was thinking of the test I had that day and basketball practice after school. While my mom stood weeping in the family room, I stood in shock, but not in mourning. Maybe I was in so much disbelief that I was numb. Perhaps. But after several minutes, we loaded the car and rode to school.
My mom didn’t honk at anyone on the way to work that day. Red lights weren’t a nuisance. Rude drivers weren’t yelled at. She simply drove…and cried. We listened intently to the radio, and it still never hit me. By the time we had gotten to school, New York and the nation were in complete pandemonium.
We didn’t have that test. We didn’t even have classes. All us 9th graders sat in homeroom all day, eyes fixed on the tv the administration had given us. I don’t even think we took a lunch break. Nothing else mattered. Our hearts and minds were united on one cause.
Somewhere in that whole ordeal, it hit me. People had died. America’s borders had been breeched. More attacks could be on the way. No one was safe. I began crying. And it didn’t stop until I went to bed that night.
Even now the images, sounds, and reports of 9/11 still fill my mind and flash across the giant screen of my memory. Many people say some things you never forget, well there are few things I remember as well as 9/11.
So what’s your story? Where were you on that day? How did it impact you?