Today marks ten years. I was in eighth grade then and still remember vividly every minute. I remember being angry, confused, scared....I am blessed and fortunate to not have lost anyone that I know that day but I know people that did and I don't wish that on anyone.
9/11 is its own day now....It's obviously not a holiday but its a day en grained into our brains, into our calendars still. The eleventh approaches every year and we go through the same feelings every year. Every year, the country becomes a little more quiet on this day. We all become a little more patriotic. A little less violent. A little more tolerant of each other. A little more appreciative. A little more grateful.
Two years after, on 9/11/03, I was a sophomore in high school. In English class we were instructed to have a freewrite session documenting how we felt about 9/11 or our memories from that day. So today I dug it out of one of my binders at the bottom of my closet to share it. Because what better time to share than the decade anniversary?
Please note, at 15 years old, I certainly wasn't a fabulous writer. I chose to write about my memory of that day.
Hearing those horrific words actually being said made me stop in my tracks in the middle of the scrambling mess of students rushing down the hall. People were anxious to get home and find out what the heck was going on, find out the truth. Teachers were instructed to be quiet about it, but there was most certainly something huge going on. And what I had heard from a couple friends....it couldn't be true. It just couldn't.
Immediately I ran onto the bus and picked a random seat, in a daze. Pizza, I thought. I was just at the World Trade Center only two weeks ago, eating Pizza on the "top of the world". Now its gone. Gone? All of it? How is that possible? My aunt Linda and I laughed happily as we strolled across that crowded cafeteria trying to balance our pizzas on our plate. We leaned against the glass looking down at the little ants thousands of feet below. Incredible. Its gone now, I cried.
As I got off the bus, I noticed a biker. I began to walk down what now seemed to be a never ending street. How could someone be riding their bike when I could barely move my own two feet?
It was hours before my mom got home from teaching that day. I hid up in room in the niche of the wall, hiding from the happy sunlight pouring through the window. How could we have such sunlight here and have New York City in the dust? Shouldn't we all be in the dust now? As one nation together that collapse? No. We didn't collapse, I thought. We were still American even if we have been pushed down. But we'll get up again, right? I could just imagine the thousands of hurt families grieving over what had happened, imagining the survivors breathing through dust masks, praying to get out, just to breathe. To be Alive.
Mom came in. No words said. We hugged the hug that wouldn't end. It won't end because to this day I can still remember exactly what she smelt like, and the formation of her tears falling upon my head.
The phone rang. I couldn't answer it. It was Dad leaving a message from California. He is all right.
Mom turned on the news. I stood in a trance watching the screen. You'd think it was snow if you didn't know better. So much debris was falling, falling softly.
I couldn't watch the tv anymore, so I went to sleep, expected to blink and wake up for a new day and this was all a nightmare. I wish.
I really liked the soap in the World Trade Center bathroom. It was noticeably nice soap. Now I'm forever haunted to ever admit ever again that I like soap in a public place.
The day will stay with us forever. But thats a good thing. It teaches us new lessons. Never lets us forget, but keeps us looking forward. Its a day to thank our firefighters, EMS workers, policeman who did such a fine job. Who ARE doing such a fine job. They are our heroes, in my book.
This is my FAVORITE tribute ever made, as it really showcases how tremendous our firefighters/EMS/Police are. Gives me goosebumps!!
As nicely said by State Farm,
Never Forget. Forever Grateful.