I Was Twelve Years Old When 9/11 Happened, Here’s What I Remember
On the morning of September 11, 2001 I was 12 years old. I had just started what I think was the third week of my seventh grade year. I had finally hit the sweet spot of my middle school experience, I was no longer a newbie sixth grader and was looking forward to the fall dance. That morning, I woke up like normal and got ready for school. We had a small TV in our kitchen that was turned on to the news not just that day but everyday, and when I walked in, the first plane had already hit one of the towers. My family and I watched in horror as the second plane hit the next tower.
On the way to school it was all over the radio stations; I can even remember Buzz talking about it, crazy that now 17 years later, here I am working with Buzz. At school, I remember my friends all talking about it but I don't think any of us really understood what had actually happened. We were all twelve and up until then, we really had no real concept of what terrorism was. We grew up untouched by war and now that was becoming a real possibility. I live in a city with a Military base and had many cousins in the armed forces at the time and I can remember my aunts and uncles concerned that one of my cousins would be called to a war that was inevitable. Our belief that America was untouchable had been shaken. I remember having so many questions throughout the day and still not understanding. It was a day where teachers ditched the lesson plan and had the classroom TV's set to the news.
As we watched the updates coming in, the plane crash at the Pentagon and the plan crash near Pennsylvania, the death toll kept rising. I remember suspicions and distrust growing fiercely afterwards. In the months that followed we heard about changing threat levels and color codes and more suspected terrorist attacks like the whole Anthrax ordeal. It was a scary time. But the one thing I remember the most is the unity that came afterwards. "United we stand; divided we fall" was the slogan everyone wore with pride. We became a stronger nation. It makes me wonder, if we could survive that, what could have us so divided today? Maybe times like these will make us come out stronger just as we did on that one Tuesday in September of 2001.