I’m not quite sure what to say. September 11 was an ordinary day, turned into a day of senseless violence, hatred, dare I say, evil. Ten years later, we feel the repercussions as strongly as on that extraordinary day.
On that morning, I was getting dressed for school in my bathroom. My clothes were laying atop the heating vent, where I always put (and still do put) them to warm them (even when the heater isn’t actually on). I remember the phone ringing, hearing my mother speaking, then the television turning on. Then she shouted from the kitchen, “America is under attack!” Only in elementary school, I was unsure of the significance of this. I knew it couldn’t be good, though. I hurried on the rest of my clothes and went into the kitchen. On the television, I saw planes hitting tall buildings. But this was all an abstraction–buildings, New York, fireballs, that building–what’s it called–the Pentagon, terrorists, smoke. I went to school; our teacher told us not to talk about the days events, since we might frighten the younger children. We talked about it anyways.
Over the years, the event has grown in significance to me. Watching video accounts of the attacks (a particularly moving one is found on americanrhetoric.com), hearing the stories of people–real people–who perished, reading the accounts of those who assisted in recoveries and wrote the news stories of the events: all these things have made this day increasingly sobering.
Perhaps this shows my age (even more than the fact that I was in elementary school on 9/11), but I have found that people’s Facebook statuses reveal some of the most compelling perspectives of this time. Thus, from myself and some of my more eloquent friends:
“‘This is my Father’s world / O let me ne’er forget / That though the wrong seems oft so strong / God is the ruler yet.’ For so many things, there are no rational explanations. Today is one of those things. What more to say?”
“Over the course of a week, 3,000 Chinese people will commit suicide. 3,000 pregnant women die every three days from lack of proper medical assistance. 3,000 people die on US motorways every three hours. But they’re just statistics.”
“11th, remember the past, look to the future”
“‘The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.’ ~Henry David Thoreau”
“‘How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back. There are some things that time can not mend. Some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold.’ 9/11. never forget.”
“’Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.’ -President George W. Bush”
“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. We’ll never forget.”
“To think for thousands of years this date held no special significance, no distinction from any other day, then in an instant became engrained in everyone’s minds. So much can change, so quickly.”