I can’t believe it’s been 11 years since that tragic day in September 2001. I still remember it like it was yesterday… I was beginning fourth grade at the time, and I remember not knowing what had happened for a while. Around 11am that day, kids started going home from school in large numbers. I initially thought there was some bug going around, but then I got taken home as well. Nobody told us what happened, I’m guessing because they didn’t really know what was going on at the time, and they probably didn’t want us to panic.
I remember asking my mother what had happened, and she said some buildings fell in Manhattan. She didn’t really know what was going on either. At the time, I was just glad to get out of school early. Oh how foolish I was, but I got the feeling something was seriously wrong when I saw smoke in the sky. I went to school and lived in Marine Park, about 20 mins away from Coney Island, so the fact that I was able to see the smoke from there meant it wasn’t some little fire. However, the true impact of it all didn’t hit me until I got home.
I turned on the TV, wanting to watch some cartoons like a typical 8-year old, but then every single channel had that dreadful video on loop with hysterical reporters commenting on it. It was then that it hit me. *We had been attacked.*
I had watched plenty of gory movies in my time before that day, yet nothing could have prepared me for seeing it. That video of the towers falling will always remain in my head, a reminder of the end of an era. Before the attacks, we (the US) felt invincible, like nothing could hurt us. Sure there were small attacks here and there, but those were like nothing compared to 9/11. After 9/11, everything changed. Our liberties were slowly rolled back for the sake of security, the economy tumbled, and America started feeling vulnerable.
I recently visited the Newseum in Washington DC, and there was a 9/11 exhibit there, and even after eleven years, watching the videos and looking at the broken objects there was still painful. I hadn’t lost anybody close in the attacks, but that didn’t make it any less sad.
We also mustn’t forget those who heroically gave their lives that day to rescue others. They were the true heroes. Yet even with all of the memorials and rebuilding after 9/11, I still want to go back to the time before it. Those were simpler times, happier times. Oh how I wish 9/11 never happened…
I’ll probably add onto this post more later, maybe tomorrow. I feel like I haven’t said everything that needed to be said yet. If you couldn’t tell by the annual posts about it, it’s a pretty important topic to me. Writing about it is my form of release.