Where were you when the Trade Towers fell? What was going through your mind?
I was walking into my 8th grade U.S. History class when it happened. My teacher usually had the news on for the first ten or so minutes of class, especially as it was the first period of the day. I looked up at the screen as the second plane hit the other tower. School didn’t close for us, but it didn’t really happen that day either. Every class had the news on during every period of the day and we were called to an assembly twice during the day in order for our principal to speak to us. Several students had to go to the counselor’s offices in order to calm down after growing hysterical in the halls.
When I finally learned what was going on, the only thought that crossed my mind was the fact that my older sister and her husband were supposed to fly out the next day to Georgia before taking up their positions at one of our Army bases in Germany. They had their one year old daughter with them. Their flight was postponed so often after that, that they eventually had to rent a car in order to drive over so they wouldn’t be late getting to their posts.
I spent the next year in dread that they would be shipped to the Middle East and that their daughter and then their infant son would be flown back to us to raise while their parents fought for freedom.
I’ve rarely ever been so terrified of anything in my life. It still makes me cry to think about it even now, over ten years later.
We live in a different world today than we did when I was small. That both terrifies me and fills me with hope. Hope that we can someday find an end to fear, but also that we never forget the lessons that fear has taught us.