We were probably focused on our outfits, who we were going to sit with at lunch, and making sure we didn't have any food in our braces. Maybe not even thinking about the fact that our country was under attack. I don't think I had any understanding of what was going on.
Until I walked to my next period...Physical Education.
I remember going to the locker rooms to get dressed in my gym clothes and hearing about a couple students being brought to the front office. They had family in NY who were supposed to be in the World Trade Center building that day. I don't know if it was their mom or dad or uncle or cousin. But it was their family. That's when it became real to me. That's when I realized people were hurt, and people's lives were being changed that very moment.
I remember the somber looks on all the teacher's faces. I remember the eerie silence in the classrooms the rest of the school day.
I remember in 2003, when Angelo told me he was moving to New York to go to college. In my mind, New York was a war zone, the most unsafe place in America. I thought about how crazy he was for going on a plane heading to NYC. I didn't want him to go, but he did.
I remember in 2009 I took my first trip to NYC. Eight years after the tragic attack. I remember being scared out of my mind about getting on a plane to go to NY.
I remember taking a Xantax...yes I was that scared to fly. (It's gotten better throughout the years, but I'm still very nervous about flying but I can do so without drugs.)
Ground Zero was completely under construction, but there was a make shift memorial museum where you could view the future plans of Ground Zero.
Badges of police officers and firefighters who served on 9-11-01
I remember taking these pictures and being angry. It was the first time I think the anger really hit me...eight years later. I saw people walk around this small make shift museum with tears rolling down their face. I saw all the photos, listened to stories, and feeling so much closer to this tragedy than I ever had before.
Our trip was very patriotic.
Today I still remember all those different feelings I have felt about the 9/11 attacks. My feelings and understanding of those events have evolved through out the years, but I'll NEVER forget how I felt THAT day on 09/11/2001, as a student in middle school.
As an adult, with children of my own, the feelings are the same, but amplified. I now fear for their innocent minds in this world and I fear the day they meet/experience/see what evil is, like I did on that day in 2001.
Let us not forget those feelings we had that day in 2001.
Let us never forget the incredible courage we saw from numerous individuals on that day in 2001.
Let us never forget the 2,977 people who lost their lives that day in 2001.