September 11, 2011

The 9/11 memorial monument which was unveiled in NYC today. Photo: boston.com

I had just got home from a regular day in school, I was an 8th grader at the time. Just like any other day, I curled up on the couch to relax in front of the TV before starting on my homework. I flipped through the channels and remember zapping past one of the news channels a couple of times before finally stopping to see what it was about.

The first pictures I saw didn’t show the twin towers. There was no commentary, just footage of people walking around, fire fighters and paramedics, people being carried away on stretchers. My first thought was that I was watching some bombing in the middle east. Slowly it started to sink in and the reality of what I was watching hit me. I ran downstairs and turned on the TV in the living room, told my sister to come and look.

My mom called from work, or I called her, I can’t remember which. She sounded sad and slightly distraught and told me to call my grandfather (who lives in Buffalo, NY) and my aunt (who lives in Boston, where two of the flights that were later hijacked departed from) to make sure they or any of our other relatives weren’t on an airplane that day.

I called my grandfather . I’d never heard him like that. It was like he was at a loss for words and rambling at the same time. I didn’t know what to say, the extent of it hadn’t really hit me yet.

I remember the front pages of the newspapers, the photos of the burning twin towers were splayed across the pages for weeks.

I think it was a year later that I wrote an essay in school about the attacks, and my experience of it. My teacher gave me a top grade on my paper and saved it to use as an example for her future students.

What were you doing on September 11th, 2001?

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