Just then, one of my band buddies walked up to me and asked something like, "Is it true that one of the twin towers was just hit with an airplane??"
I looked at and laughed. "Haha! NO! Where's you hear a CRAZY idea like that?"
"Someone said something and I wasn't sure." I had no idea how wrong I would be.
Really though, I was thinking about it all morning and by 3rd hour, the entire school was buzzing and the teachers had turned on Channel One to watch new reports. I was in my third hour history class and everyone had turned their desk around to the back of the classroom to watch the tv, our big reports all but forgotten. As we all watched the first tower rolling with smoke and flames, we all watched in shock as another plane flew into the south tower. The bell rang and no one moved. The school was eerily quiet for getting out for lunch. The reporters were helpless as they reported the live footage. One of the female reporters starting crying.
Then all the sudden, the school sprang to life. People started to get up quickly, tripping over desks, some trying to make it to the next location with a tv to keep up with what was going on. I remember like everything was a teen movie, walking through the animated lockered hallways, in slow-mo with no sound.
After lunch, I heard reports that the Pentagon was under seige with a possible airplane hit. My grandfather and grandmother had moved back to DC to secure his retirement the year before. He worked in the Pentagon. My throat tightened and I felt like I couldn't breathe.
School FINALLY ended and I made it home. Later that evening, we found out that my grandfather had been scheduled to work on the opposite side of the Pentagon that was hit so he was safe. I was beyond relieved, but the full weight of everything hit me right then. All those people.
I was devistated. The people in the planes. The people in the buildings. Their families would would never see them again. The first terrorist attack on America since Pearl Harbor. The very first attack on the American Mainland. All the sudden life seemed more fagile, not so safe, even though I lived 3000 miles away from NYC.
Last year after I put my son to sleep, I turned on the telly. My local news station was playing footage from that day. As I watched, transfixed, all the emotions from when I was a teenager flooded back. Tears started pouring down my face. My husband came into the room and sat down on the couch by me. Together, we relived all our feelings from 9/11. Then he held me as I cried, overwhelmed all over again by the horrendous loss of all those innocent American lives.
Let us not forget those who were left without family members of AA flight 11 and UA flight 175 and those in the towers. Let us not forget those lives from the Pentagon and those from AA flight 77. Let us remember those who bravely took over UA flight 93 to save the lives within the US Capitol Building. Let us remember September 11th and be stronger Americans for it.
My name is Rebekah and I will NEVER forget.