All day long I’ve seen the posts, the pictures and the commentary on who remembers what about that fateful day 12 years ago today.
Just like everyone else in So. Cal, or this time zone I suppose I was getting ready for the day. Like I did every morning in high school I would get up and watch Gillian Barberie on “Good Day LA.” I did number one because I thought she dressed fabulously and she got the weather right waaaay more accurately then what’s her face on KIIS F.M. Anyways, they were treating the first attack like an accident. And I remember thinking, “what kind of idiot doesn’t see a HUGE building like that? Unless maybe it was an accident and they just lost control of the plane.” My mind raced with endless possibilities, and then I watched like the rest of America as the second plane hit. And then like a ton of bricks, I over heard the newscaster report in panic. Gillian and her co-hosts sat stunned. I calmly walked into the bathroom where my mom was getting ready and reported “we’re under attack.” I don’t know if she was genuinely shocked or didn’t want to believe me but I compelled her to turn the news on immediately. Before I left for school that day, reports of the Pentagon also came through.
Part of me didn’t want to go to school that day, but part of me did. While part of me wanted to sit and watch the flooding reports that came through, another part of me wanted to be with my friends and teachers whom I sincerely admired and I wanted to hear their guidance. The school nerd in me needed to be reassured that everything was going to be ok, and my school girl mind set always assumed that if it came from a teacher, it must be true and it must be accurate.
I was sorely disappointed up until 4th period. The teachers were advised not to share any news with us. And believe it or not this was a few years shy of the social media phenomenon, so there was no Twitter or Facebook status we could link to for information. Finally, my Honors Lit teacher Mr. Roberts had enough sense to fill us in. We are expected to act like young adults in High School yet we were being treated like little kids. He explained how the towers had fallen, it was a terrorist attack, and many of our fellow Americans had lost their lives. We spent the remainder of that class asking why? Years later that’s still my question, why? How? What did the hard working Americans that were simply going about their daily lives ever do to compel an individual to conspire such evil against us?
While we will never have a justifiable answer, and the parties responsible have been persecuted nothing will ever make what happened that day right. But like everything in life, even the darkest days eventually show light, and while I vividly recall the course of September 11th, it is the days, weeks and even months that followed that I look back at with tears. I remember being so incredibly moved by the generosity of my fellow American citizens. Kids, teens and adults even in my neighborhood were raising money, donating blood and whatever they could to send to the fallen and the grieving. People proudly waved flags from cars, street corners and pretty much any other venue we could proclaim our love for our country.
Did I cry when I heard “Where were you when the world stopped turning?” Yes I did. The saying “we will never forget” is true. We won’t forget. I’ll never forget not long after the attacks sitting in a theater watching the first “Spiderman” and smiling at the line an extra has when he tells the villain after he’s made an attack on a few New Yorkers, “you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us.” I remember thinking and being so proud about that statement. When you mess with one American, you mess with all Americans. And you bet we are damn proud of this country that we call home.