You think about the other holidays while you’re out here. Like how it’s Labor Day and you still have to work. And how you’re going to have to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas too.
But you forget about things like September 11th until they sneak up on you.
You forget about it until you realise it’s the reason you’re here in the first place. There were sign up sheets to fly flags so that people could send them home (or keep them) and know where they were flown on this day. (I tried but they were sold out by the time I got to the store.) There were requests for stories from people who were serving on that day.
It’s easy to forget about it all…
The day started out normal enough. I woke up and dragge myself downstairs to watch the news before making myself go back upstairs to get dressed and then leave for school. There was a story on the local news about how since the date was 9-11, it was a chance to teach your kids about how to call 911 in an emergency. Have them practice with you, so they know what to say, know their address, know not to hang up, things like that. (All these years later, I still remember that quite clearly.)
It wasn’t until 4th Period that I found out something had happened. Jenny Weisner told me that a plane had crashed into the White House. I thought she was joking. Then at lunch I watched the news and got the real story of what had happened. Then the unthinkable happened and I saw one of the Towers fall. (I can’t remember anymore if it was a replay or real-time.)
The rest of the day was surreal. My godmother lived in NYC at the time and I had no idea where the schools she taught at were or if she was okay. In Government & Law in 7th Period we watched the news the whole class. We were suppose to be taking notes on how governments react to this sort of thing but I don’t think anyone was. I was so relieved when they announced that all sports practices were cancelled so that I could go straight home.
I got home and turned the TV on. I was standing in the middle of the living room just watching the news when my mom came home. We both just stood there, watching. I still couldn’t believe that any of this had happened. The first estimates were up to 10,000 killed, and we still didn’t know if Val was alright.
Our church held a special prayer service that night, we went. Even my dad came, which was the first time I’d seen him in church in years. I remember at one part, they asked people to say aloud their prayer requests. My dad stood up, and through tears and lots of pauses, asked for prayers for all the firefighters that had lost their lives when the towers fell. Lost their lives doing their jobs.
It’s strange to think that that was ten years ago. It’s weird to think that for my kids September 11th will be an event they only read about in history books.
I hope I never forget.