Please bear with me, this is a very emotional post for me to write and it may be a little hard for me to write. Please excuse any run-on sentences or any bad grammar. For those of you who read all of this, I thank you dearly. You are a true friend.
Okay so maybe I wasn't a child but I was definitely still young and impressible. I was twelve years old on September 11, 2001. Just a seventh grader in middle school, without a care in the world. Up until that morning, I had never thought that much about death or tragedy. My family was blessed with good health and old age, so I had never had anyone I had known die except for my Great Grandma June (my namesake) who passed when I was a toddler. I was more interested in dance and boys and shopping and theater and music and gossip, you know the normal things that I a preteen girl thinks about. The biggest "scare" I had experienced was Y2K. I had never feared for my or my country's safety and security.That all changed that horrible day.
Let me tell you, it was traumatic being a child on 9/11...
I really think that I have repressed a lot of that day due to this reason. My whole day was serioulsy horrifying. Because people panicked and their vunerable sides were shown, and that is one of the most scariest things for a child to see. To see an adult, who they trust for their safety and security, cry and be scared. I am crying a little just thinking about it. Now I know that we live thousands of miles away from the twin towers but everyone, EVERYONE was scared. We all thought hell was just going to break loose. It was a bad day for all humans, I believe.
I was in my mother's van on the way to my school, when we heard about the first tower on the news. I was confused, thinking maybe that it was some sort of weird hoax, we all know how children think. Honestly, I think that I did not want to believe it was true. But it was. My mother started immeadiately sobbing, trying her best not to cry too hard and scare me. We did not say one. word. to each other the whole ride, until she dropped me off at school. Then I remember she hugged me, so tight, like maybe there was a chance we would not see each other ever again. She whispered in my ear, "No matter what happens today, be safe. I love you so much." That shook me to the core. I walked to my first class, geography, on shaky legs. No one seemed to notice or care though, they were all scared to death themselves.
The geography room was silent, like everything else. I remember how weird I thought that was. Does the world's volume go down when there are so many deaths? The silence was horrible. The television was the only thing making noise, quietly telling all about the tragedy on the East Coast. Both towers did not fall until algebra class. I only know this because we had the television on in this class too. I remember hearing some punk kids laughing and joking about how awesome it was that today was a break day. Uh guys, did you know that we are now in danger???? Or so we thought. Walking down the hallways of the school was the worst. Us children were scared so there were many ridiculous rumors flying around, like how the president was kidnapped and how California was also getting hit. Those rumors did not scare me as much as the teachers talking did. You could hear teachers talking about how school shouldn't even be running and we should all be hiding in our homes. Or how they would probably hit Montana area next beause of all the valuable oil fields. I am totally serious about this, with the way the teachers were talking and from what we had seen, several of my friends and I weren't sure that America was just going to be completely invaded by Osama tomorrow. We were terrified.
During gym class, we stayed inside to do our laps instead of running around the track. Everyone said that this was because military was coming to protect each school and so we all had to stay inside. Do you see why we were so freaked out? The whole day at school, NO ONE told us anything. We just watched the news with the teachers and made our own conclusions about it. Looking back as an adult now, I see that alot of teachers and parents really dropped the ball when it came to their children. And who can really blame them? We have never had something like this happen to our country before. Everyone was scared. But I really feel that the parents should have tried to handle this better for their children. I have talked with several other people who were children and one thing they all had to say: No one talked to them about it. Why? I know that its scary and I know that its hard, but not talking about it only makes children worse. We naturally fear the unknown. So if there is another national tragedy like this one, please talk with your children about the events and your fears. Because there is nothing more scary for a child than your parent being scared and you not knowing why. And I can vouch for this.
To all of the victims, heroes and families of 9/11, my family and I send your our condolences. We wish you all nothing but love and comfort today. To everyone else, please take today to do three things. Please remember those that have been lost. Take a moment of silence, say a prayer to your god, just say their names and remember them. Do not forget the soldiers fighting this war too. They are also very much a part of today. Please tell your family and friends that you love them and be thankful they are alive and able to spend everyday with you. Not everyone gets that and we are very blessed. Finally, please help change today from a day of sadness into a day of memorial and change. Go out and volunteer, do a good deed, pick up some trash today, or give a random person a hug and tell them that you love them. We should not let the terrorists win by giving into the tragedy and sadness they created. Use today to make a difference and to make America a better place!
I love each and everyone of you, I do. If you are feeling sad or lonely today, please let me know so I may comfort you. I have thought long and hard about this day for many years, and finally feel at peace with everything. America will be okay. We are strong and we can do this! We just need to remember it.