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Friday, September 11, 2009

looking back...

i remember...

where i was, how i felt.

what people were saying.

the looks on people's faces.

the uncertainty of the future.

The morning was sunny, the sky was blue. It was my senior year of high school, and I was on my way to my second period class, British Literature. I saw my friend, who was late for school that morning, gave him shit about being late, and then he told me that someone was attacking New York. I didn't believe him, because he was always joking around. When I got to class, everyone was weird. No one really talked, everyone was just blank. Our teacher wasn't preparing to teach us about Beowulf, or Macbeth; he was listening to the radio. That's when I knew that my friend was not joking.

We went to a conference room that had a television and watched as a plane hit the second tower. We watched as the first tower fell. We watched as people scrambled to the rooftops of the towers. We were also watching when those people realized that there was no hope, and jumped. That was the day that it was OK to cry in front of your classmates. I was grateful that our teacher thought we were grown-up enough to watch. Class ended. I gathered friends in the hallway. They had no idea what was going on. We went to our social studies classroom and camped there for the rest of the day (thank you, Mr. Stevens, for being such a comfort). I kept looking around at my friends in their football jerseys, wondering if a draft would be reinstated, because we would surely go to war. I wondered, "when will they hit Boston? They flew out of Logan, so surely they left something behind for us." Classes weren't canceled, but no students were in them. I was mad when my physics teacher pulled us away from the television and made us learn about the laws of physics: mass, gravity, acceleration. Didn't he realize that we had already had our physics lesson for the day? Our soccer game was canceled, and I was relieved to go home to be with my family.

The whole day was a blur of emotions, worries, wondering. People we knew were on those planes. I know that tragedies happen all the time, all over the world. It doesn't make it any easier to think about it, or to understand why people do things like this. For the past few years, I haven't really stopped when September 11 shows its face. I always paid my respects with a moment of silence, but never took the time to actually reflect. Maybe I was shutting it out, maybe I thought that life was too important to stop and worry about things in the past. For some reason, eight years later, it has come back to me, and I remember everything about it very clearly. I will never understand why it took me so many years to go back to that morning.

Please, take a moment today and remember those who lost their lives on September 11. It wasn't just the people that were killed... it was also their families and friends.
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