It's amazing how something like that is forever imprinted in your memory. No matter how many years pass, I will always remember the discussions I overheard as the events unfolded. I will remember what I was doing and who I spoke to. The feeling of disbelief and uncertainty that filled our nation. Then, the heroes that emerged, quite literally, from the rubble.
Though I was thousands of miles away from the attacks, I know some people who were caught in the midst of it. My friend Caroline was working in the tower and watched the first plane hit the building next to her. Listening to her describe the devastation is almost unbelievable. It doesn't seem like something like that could actually happen -- but it did.
What were you doing 11 years ago? Who did you talk to? How did you react?
I was walking to my locker between first and second period when I heard someone talk about the first plane hitting the WTC. No one really understood what that meant and I think many people thought it was just an accident. When you heard about it on the radio, it didn't seem as vicious as when you saw it on TV. When I settled into my second period Health class, I remember one of the coaches rushing into our room and telling us that the second building was hit. At that point, no one could deny the first was an accident.
As high school students, I still don't think we could comprehend what exactly that meant until we saw the news coverage in our homeroom class the next period. At that point, everyone was stunned. The rest of the day seemed like the longest and most surreal day ever. All we wanted was more information but the more we watched the coverage, the more questions we had.
Over the years, more and more stories have emerged of the heroism shown that day and those following the attacks. I've read about the heroes on Flight 93 who saved the Pentagon from attack. I've seen the amazing footage released last year that was recorded during the attacks. And, I have heard stories from individuals themselves who lived through the tragedy.
I, for one, will never forget 9/11. Those who survived and those who didn't. Those who lost someone. They all deserve a thought today.