I remember walking to my next class, and I walked by the front office with the 2 towers burning. That image is forever sketched in my mind. Then reports poured in about the Pentagon and also Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania (that we can only assume was heading to the White House or the Capitol) in the next class. Then also seeing the towers fall. It was a very surreal day and people were leaving school with their parents all day.
I remember one of my classmates, Michael, it was his 16th birthday. He started off so excited but as the day continued on, he was so sad. It broke my heart to have someone's 16th birthday feel ruined.
As the day went on, less and less students were at school. I had a test 7th period (that i studied hard for). We were told we could retake it later but I wanted to just get it over and not worry about it. By the time I left school, I would say about 20% of the school was there. I remember hugging my mom, dad and brother so tight. I remember all of us
I distinctly remembering how Peter Jennings never left the tv-I remember learning about Osama bin Laden-I remember the scrolling of info on the bottom of the tv (which is now on every station, it used to not be that way). I remember seeing members of Congress, standing on the steps of the Capitol singing "God Bless america". I remember just feeling that everyone would be different. I also remember believing
A couple of random thoughts:
-I can't believe it's been 13 years
-Freshmen in college this year were in kindergarten when it happened
-The dividing lines for Millennials and the younger generation(since they are still being born, there is a lack of a name but I have seen Generation Z, iGeneration, or Homeland among others) is whether you were born by 9/11
-How will my younger siblings learn about this day? Will one day they have to interview me about it? I had to interview my grandparents about where they were when they heard about the JFK assassination as well as interview my parents where they were when they heard about the Challenger Explosion in elementary school (interesting fact: my grandma was pregnant with my mom when JFK was assassinated just as my mom was pregnant with me with Challenger). I texted my mom already to ask if my younger sister did anything at school today
-It is the only day that Disneyland never opened (not counting back in the day when they used to be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays some time). WDW opened but soon closed. You were not allowed in the DL castle for many years after 9/11 (reopened in the last 5 years with the new castle walkthrough).
I will say it is different remembering in different parts of the country. In Texas, throughout the rest of high school, we always honored the events. Going to Philadelphia, so close to DC and NYC, was a great experience. Also, having been to the 9/11 memorial is just beyond anything I have experienced. The only thing more emotional than that was visiting the Memorial Site at the Pentagon. It was very emotional and very overwhelming standing there seeing the rebuilt Pentagon and just imagining what it would have looked like. In California, it is very different. Many people were asleep when the events happened so they dont have the "I remember it vividly stories" but they do have stories of how they found out which is just as interesting.
Today, I have teared up twice. Once while reading the e-mail from the 9/11 memorial-just beautiful. Second was walking out of a building and I could hear off in the distance blasting "Born in the USA" by Bruce Springsteen (I am assuming it was for football practice?) and then I turned the corner and saw a large group of ROTC students and it all brought it home for me. I was overcome with emotion and that is okay. As a nation, with all still going on (Ferguson, ISIS, Syria, Ukraine/Russian conflict, Gaza conflict, missing planes, etc). it really brings all of the emotions to the top layer.
I really hope we never forget. Our world has changed since that day 13 years ago but we are still Americans, we still fight, we are still strong. I hope we never forget that.