9/11

So the anniversary of the terrorist attack on 9/11 was Friday. In school we had a moment of silence and talked about it a little bit. Our teachers told us where they were at the time. As students, we have nothing to say. We have no memories of our own of this day.

I was just barely two years old on 9/11/2001. My mom was 9 months pregnant with my little brother. A few days before the attack my aunt had flown in from Germany so she could take care of me while my parents were at the hospital. My brother wasn’t due until 9/18, but my aunt had come way early because she wanted to spend time with us.

If she had delayed coming back to America for any reason, I don’t know if she would have been able to, or even been willing to get on a plane and fly here.

So when people say “Where were you on 9/11?” I say, “Probably sitting eating fruit snacks, oblivious to the fear that filled most American people, oblivious to the bravery of others.”

My mom, dad, and aunt wouldn’t have told me or even tried to explain what had happened that day, and 14 years later, I still don’t quite understand. What was it like to watch a plane crash into a skyscraper? What were you feeling as you tried to process why someone would do such a horrible thing? How many people died in those attacks, and how many more rushed to save them? What was it like in the days that followed–were you scared it would happen again? How did you come to terms with such a horrific act of terrorism?

My generation didn’t see it. We didn’t understand it. We didn’t live it. And today, I feel like most others my age don’t particular care about it. 9/11 to them is a day to celebrate America, no different than the 4th of July or Presidents Day.

I wish I could change that.

Where were you when it happened?

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