Friday, September 9, 2011

Where Were You?

Where were you on September 11th?
I don't need to specify of which September 11th I'm asking as there is only one in our country that rings a cord of remembrance, anger, sadness and patriotism in the hearts and minds of Americans nationwide.

I was a Sr. in high school biology class and a fellow student greeted me as the class started and told me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center... and I remember I couldn't make sense of his words.  World Trade Center -- where was that again?  World Trade Center, had I been there?  A plane had crashed into it... it might have been hijacked... Do I know what hijacked means?  Let me try to remember...

This student, a friend of mine was very excited by this news as he had been watching it in AP World Studies class the previous hour when the teacher had turned on the television to put in a video and saw the footage almost as soon as it was broadcast.  They had watched the news develop all during the previous class (First Hour) and he had come to second hour (AP Biology) ready to share the news.  The only words I could put together as I was trying to remember what the World Trade Center and "hijacked" were was, "Why are you smiling?!?!"  And he assured me that he was not, he was just breathless over the news.

My biology teacher did not let us watch the news as it happened.  She kept teaching and I can assure you, I do not remember what we covered in class that day -- but I do remember that she would not let us turn on the television to see what was happening in our country.

Finally, at the end of class, she turned on the television and by then the second plane had crashed as well.

By Fourth Hour, AP Calculus, both buildings had collapses and the news was showing the same coverage over and over.  My math teacher had the television on and after about 15 minutes, a friend, Christine, and I went into the hallway and prayed for the rest of the class time.  Another teacher passed us and leaned down and told us that by praying, we were doing the very best thing anyone could do right now.

I remember September 11th.  

I do not think that coverage is shown too often - I think it should be shown more.  I think our children should learn what happened on that day and what an act of war looks like.  I think there are ways of teaching children what happened without scarring them, and I will do so.

Sometimes I don't know which makes me more angry, the people who planned and carried out the attacks, or the American citizens who think our government was involved in the attacks.  I respect their freedom of speech but with my freedom of speech, I want to tell them that if they think this government is planning terrorists attacks, they are welcomed to move to other countries whose governments they trust more.  Get on out of here!

Where were you when the world stopped turning?

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