To be honest, the internet doesn’t need any more posts about the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Thousands of people have already told their stories, expressed their condolences, and honored those who died that day. It’s crucial to remember, but there’s really only so much that can be said. So, I’ll try to keep this post short.
In a literal sense, 9/11 didn’t affect me directly. I didn’t know anyone who died and had never heard of the WTC or seen the Pentagon. I was 1500 miles removed from the tragedy unfolding on the East coast. But in another sense, 9/11 affected us all. My friends and I had grown up believing the US was the safest country in the world and that no one could or would ever dare touch us. Suddenly, that wasn’t true. I’m sure every person remembers where they were when they found out. I was in Mr. Evan’s fourth hour shop class. It was probably around 9:30am CT (10:30am ET) by that point, and no one had thought to tell us anything was wrong (on a later anniversary the principal would claim that she went around to every single classroom that morning, but that was a blatant lie), so none of us could understand why Mr. Evans looked so upset. We spent that class listening to the news on the radio. Sitting next to me was this punk Zach Distler (who was later expelled from high school for a fake bomb threat), who happened to be wearing a NYC shirt. He stood up, pointed to the image of the WTC on his chest and said “So I guess I should put a big ‘x’ through this, right?” I thought Mr. Evans was going to kill him. I wanted to punch him myself.
The timing of my NYC trip meant I had to leave just a few days before the 9/11 memorial opened, but I went down to visit ground zero anyway. What I saw through the construction fences looked promising, but the moment was ruined by a guy who decided that this was the perfect place to preach about the bible and how this attack was god’s punishment for the US allowing things like gay marriage, yadda, yadda, yadda. I really hate those kinds of people. Have some respect.
9/11 is one of those dates that feels like it happened both yesterday and 1000 years ago. Life goes on, obviously, but for those of us who were old enough to understand what was happening, it’ll always be in the back of our minds. In my opinion, the best thing we can do is take a few moments out of our lives every year to remember the murder and sacrifice of nearly 3,000 people, and spend the rest of our time moving on, moving forward and making sure we don’t give the terrorists the satisfaction of seeing us living in fear.