As a 13 year old, I don’t know that I believed something like this actually could happen to America or during my lifetime. I didn’t understand the implications either. What would happen? Would war break out? What would war look like?
I felt the gravity of the situation. Especially during my science class with Mrs. Howard (Howie as all students affectionately called her) who was uncharacteristically serious and even somber. She told us that the death count had or would probably surpass that of Pearl Harbor.
I had spent the night at a my close friend, Camri’s house because my parents were out of town. She and I woke up and went downstairs for breakfast where her dad was glued to the television set with the news on. He was telling us that something serious was happening–but I don’t know that we really listened to him or believed him. To me, it seemed like serious things were always happening on the news. The news was full of tragic stories. As far as teenagers go, I was actually a pretty empathetic kid, but most of the things on the news didn’t affect my every day life and so it was easy to not think about them. We carried on with breakfast and got ready for the day. At some point that morning we started to understand the magnitude of the situation and just how serious it really was.
If you ever watch news events of the attacks during the morning, you can get a pretty good feel of the confusion that was going on. Most people believed that the first plane hitting the tower was some sort of terrible accident. It wasn’t until the second plane hit that everyone started to realize we were under attack.
When we got to school, it was so quiet. Everyone realized that things were not the same. I don’t really remember the school day very well. I think we mostly just talked about what was happening during our classes or went through some classroom routines quietly. By my afternoon science class, we had a better idea of what was going on. I was grateful that Howie talked to us about what was happening in a frank, yet soft way. It is kind of amazing actually that everyone seems to realize when something really monumental is going on. I don’t remember anyone making light of it or anything which is kind of a lot to say in a middle school.
I do remember going home and talking to my sisters. We watched the news and cried. I remember writing in my journal about it (I wish I knew where that entry was). I remember mostly thinking about what it would be like for people my age who might have had parents working at the World Trade Center or relatives on the one of the planes.
In the coming weeks I remember unity and compassion. I remember kindness and love. I remember faith in God. I remember soft words and gracious acts. I remember a focus on what truly matters. I remember clarity.
In the wake of seeing what horrible things man can do to one another, we saw incredible acts of selflessness. We saw everyone reaching out to help each other.
A little known story illustrates what beautiful things came of this tragic day:
Please watch this video. We all strive to connect with one another. We all have the light of Christ in us and seek to help others. Anne Frank wrote,
“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
That is what I think we should never forget. #neverforget