It's hard to believe that it has been 9 years since September 11, 2001. Really, I just can't believe it.
When it all started I was 11. I was in sixth grade. Those 9 years cover all of my time in middle and high school, plus more than half of my time in college. They cover 45% of my entire life on this planet. It's kinda mindboggling.
And yet, I can still remember, like so many others, what I was doing that day.
It was a normal school day, until I got to science class. At some point, the principal came on the PA and said that everyone should return to homeroom. Nothing else. I had no earthly clue what was going on. The teachers either didn't know or didn't want to tell us. At this point, I'm inclined to think it was the latter.
So we all went back to homeroom, and sat there for the rest of the school day. All school events had been canceled, and lunch was curtailed. Parents kept coming in to pick up their kids, but none of us knew what had happened. At some point, the teacher turned on a radio that she had, and we listened to NPR, but the exact things that had happened were still a mystery.
It wasn't until I got home that I learned what had happened. Then, I saw all of the video, over and over again. Flight 175 hitting the South Tower. Both towers collapsing, one after the other. The huge clouds of debris bearing down on fleeing New Yorkers. Firefighters charging in to rescue people, sometimes at the cost of their own lives. It was probably too much for me to handle.
Even then, I called myself a Democrat, if only in a rudimentary, childish way. Bush's "victory" in the election had seriously disappointed me, and he hadn't really done much better since. But on that day, I felt that I should lay that sort of thing aside, and simply support my country. If only I'd had more reason to keep feeling like that.
"The past is never dead. It isn't even past." -William Faulkner
In a way, 9/11 is still with all of us, to this day. The World Trade Center is far from being rebuilt. So many of those brave firefighters and police suffer from medical problems caused by exposure to dust from the WTC. We're still fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq as a direct result of this attack. 9/11 will reverberate through our society for years to come.