Today marks the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001. On that day, I was a junior in high school attending a one room Christian high school with 11 students in the whole student body. At 10 am, everyone but my brother, who had too many demerits to get a break, was outside for morning break. As I stood watching the other kids play football, an open cab tractor drove by with the radio blaring something about multiple plane crashes. Knowing that our teacher sometimes had the radio on during break, I rushed back inside to see if I could get more details. The radio was on, but I'd missed most of the news so I broke the rules to ask my brother what he'd heard since he was inside. He told me everything he knew and I stayed inside the rest of break to listen to the radio. At 10:30, everyone else came inside and the teacher switched off the radio. She quieted everyone down and said she had an announcement. Then she proceeded to briefly and unemotionally tell what had and was happening before instructing everyone to get back to work. Her response floored me, but she probably didn't feel a whole lot of patriotism as she was from Japan. She was a US citizen, but her heart was still in her home country.
We rode home from school that day in silence, straining to hear every word on the radio bulletins. At home, our mom had the tv turned on, which she NEVER did ordinarily, watching the news. A friend had called her up and told her to turn it on, otherwise she'd have probably heard the news when we came home from school.
The rest of the day was a blur. The tv remained on most of the afternoon and evening. I was completely stunned at the great tragedy that had unfolded.
The events that happened that day are seared into my memory. Even today, I have a hard time looking at any photos of that day. As I was watching my kids play yesterday, I thought about how strange it feels that they weren't here then, that they will never quite realize the horror I felt that day, and that, for them, September 11, 2001, will just be a date in a history book. And then I realized that there is a whole generation growing up right now who were born after September 11, 2001. And it is our job to make sure that that date is not forgotten by them and to help them understand the significance and the tragedy of that day.
Where were you 10 years ago today?