Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Twelve Years Ago

I know I'm writing this late, but it seemed wrong to let today go by without comment.  

Twelve years ago today I was a freshman in high school.  It was the second week of school.  It was a Tuesday.  The sky was blue.  The air had the first hints of fall in it.  I had finally managed to find my way around the high school without feeling completely lost.  I was wearing a red shirt.

It was first block and I had World History with Ms. Greenough.  Not long after the school day had started, Ms. Everhart, the teacher in the room next door burst into the room and told my teacher to turn the TV on.  Horrorstruck, my class saw the first tower on fire.  We saw the second plane hit the second tower.  We saw the first tower fall.  And then the bell rang.  

For the rest of the day, New York was on my mind.  We weren't allowed to watch TV for the rest of the day in school (I'm sure Ms. Greenough might have even gotten in trouble for letting us watch what we did).  I don't remember a lot of the particulars of what happened that day at school after that first class.  

But I do remember my mom hugging me close when I got home.  I remember my dad crying when he got home later that night.  I remember being glued to the TV for hours upon hours.  I remember relieved phone calls to family and friends that still lived in New York.  I remember a sad phone call from my aunt telling my mom that one of her friend's husband had been one of the first responders that day who never came home.  I remember going to church the next night and crying my eyes out as the congregation sang "Amazing Grace."  I remember the moments of silence in the weeks that followed.  

Maybe more than anything, I remember being scared.  I was never really scared growing up.  I knew I was safe.  I knew my family was safe.  I knew that absent a horrible accident or debilitating illness, my life would keep moving in the direction it had followed for the pst 14 years.  Now I didn't know.  I didn't feel safe, for weeks and weeks, sleep was hard to come by.  When I think about my life pre and post 9/11, the biggest difference is how quickly that feeling of safety went away.  How we all lost something no one knew we really had.

Before I sign off for the night, I'd like to thank the first responders and all of the heroes that have proudly served our country not only on 9/11 but also in the months and years that have followed. 

May we never forget.  God bless America.

No comments: