Today, as we wake up and go about our Sunday business (whether it be at a church, at home or work), we will at some time turn on our televisions, radios or computers and see images of that horrific day ten years ago and many will think about where they were that day. I know personally that there are many who to this day don't like talking about what happened that fateful morning, and to be honest I can understand why. We all experienced that day in different ways, and yet we all experienced some of the same things: shock, sadness, and anger.
Personally, I have never really talked to many people what happened that day, until now, and I would like to share my story with my readers...
I was 13 years old at the time, not too far from my 14th birthday and since I live in Iowa, I had just arrived at my middle school a bit before 8am. At first, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary in the hall ways of my school. I followed by usual routine of putting my backpack in my locker and getting my books for my first class of the day (Science class). After putting my books in my classroom, I went to wandering the halls as I usually did and that's when I noticed something odd. I saw several teachers in another classroom watching a television news broadcast. When I walked by the room to get another look the teachers blocked the screen, though I saw that apparently something had hit a building in New York City. My first thought at this point was that of my Americans, this must have been some sort of horrible accident. I didn't give it much more thought and continued on my way..
Then, not long afterwards, I noticed that many of the kids in the halls with me were all talking about something and were trying to squeeze into this one classroom with the television I had walked past before. Note, this was just after 8am in Iowa (being in Central Standard Time), classes were supposed to start at 8:25am. I remember seeing the looks of shock on my teachers face as they looked at the television screen, and then I saw that now both of the buildings were on fire. I didn't understand how such a thing could happen so I was just as shocked as my teachers and fellow students. Our teachers didn't tell us much so we were all left wondering what had happened...
Soon, it was time for class and we all slowly headed towards our first morning class of the day. My science teacher had turned her television on now and had it on in the background as she tried to begin her lesson. However, she like the rest of us, was fixed to the television and we all wondering what was happening. Then, only 12 minutes after our morning class began, we saw the first reports on NBC that an explosion was heard at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.
As young as I was at the time, I knew something was terribly wrong and these were no accidents (likely because I have been a military buff since I was a young kid). Regardless, for the next hour I and everyone else in my school was fixed to the NBC news broadcast trying to absorb as much information as possible...And then, the Tower fell.
I remember not being able to fully process what was happening as I watched this giant building collapse. To be honest, the rest of the day was something of a blur. I do remember that we were released early from school, at 1 or 2 o'clock and I walked home. After I got home, I went over to a friends house nearby but before I got there, I thought I saw something.
It was a plane. I remembered that the news said no planes were supposed to be flying today so I wondered whose plane this was. I quickly ran to my house and found a pair of binoculars and looked at the plane. It looked pretty big and white/blue in color. I immediately realised that this was Air Force one and the President was flying overhead. It was an odd feeling, to know the leader of your nation was flying far above me. Some days later, I saw on the news that the President that day was flying towards Omaha when I saw the plane.
For the rest of the day, my family and I simply watched the television, hoping for some kind of explanation for why someone had done this horrible thing...
September 11th, 2001 will be a day that I and millions of other Americans will never forget. We all experienced the events of that day in different ways, but something we all share is the sorrow for the thousands who lost their lives that day in those needless acts of hatred and cowardice. We will never forget the sacrifice that so many police, firemen, and everyday citizens made that day trying to save as many lives as they could. Knowing that there were so many that day who willingly put their lives at risk to save others made me so proud to be an American, and I will NEVER forget that feeling. Never.
"There is no question what the roll of honor in America is. The roll of honor consists of the names of men who have squared their conduct by ideals of duty."
-President Woodrow T. Wilson