Where were you on September 11th, 2001?
With the eighteenth anniversary of September 11th, 2001 coming up this Wednesday, as Americans it is important for us to take a moment to reflect on our shared experiences of September 11th, 2001.
I was in 11th grade on 9/11/2001 in geometry class and the homeroom teacher for this classroom, Mr. Landers, came in around 9:50 am and told the class, “there is going to be one less small country a week from today”.
No one in the class knew what he was talking about at that time but when he turned on the television, I saw a split screen that showed two large buildings on fire in New York City and a government building on fire in Washington DC. I later discovered the buildings were the World Trade Centers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC.
I was shocked as a 16-year-old to see this all unfolding and then the unthinkable happened, the first World Trade Center collapsed. When class let out I heard kids talking in the hallway excitedly and with confusion and I when I went into my next class the teacher was clearly upset, she was praying and also spoke about how this was the beginning of World War Three.
I remember being worried in the days following 9/11/2001 that another attack could occur at any time; fortunately, our nation has been primarily safeguarded from external threats for the past 18-years.
Just six months after 9/11/2001 my parents and I visited Manhattan and while we were there, we visited Ground Zero. At that time there was still smoke constantly rising from the remains of the World Trade Centers and the sadness of the attacks was still strongly felt. However, the amazing resolve and unity of New Yorkers was clear, I gained an immense respect for them and their great perseverance.
One of the most poignant memories I have from this trip to Manhattan in 2002 is how that every time a heroic New York City firefighter would drive by in their firetrucks everyone would stop and cheer; everyone applauded these heroic warriors! This time in our great nation’s history was a challenging and surreal time which is why it is important that we will never forget!
What are your memories of September 11th, 2001?