Monday, September 12, 2011

September 11th

September 11th, 2001 is a day I will never forget. I was in Grade 7. It was a normal day for me until the afternoon.

My teacher passed out notices that said our "Back to School Barbecue" was cancelled in light of the tragedy that had occurred. I remember that we all looked at each other in confusion and asked our teacher what it meant. She looked at us with an incredulous look on her face and said, "You don't know?!" We shook our heads. 

(I realize now that it's crazy that we went almost the entire day without knowing what had taken place. But we had been in school all day, without televisions, and it was before everyone had cellphones and laptops. No one had said anything to us.)

Our teacher explained to us in a very simple manner what had happened and sent us home when the bell rang, signaling the end of the day. 

As I rode the bus that afternoon, everyone was talking about what happened. We were all students, K-12, and none of understood the immensity of what had taken place. I heard snippets of conversations, words here and there: "airplanes," "World Trade Center," "New York," "terrorists," and "war." 

I walked in my front door and felt I was lucky to be safe at home. I watched the television for the rest of the day and went to bed with tears in my eyes and questions on my lips. 

Time has put together an amazing project, titled "Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience." It is the testimonies from 40 people who survived or were impacted that day. The first video I watched was Jim Riches', a father and retired FDNY chief. Please take some time today to watch these videos and hear these people's stories.  

(Thank you, Tiny Twig, for first showing this to me).


  1. Thank you for sharing this, Amanda. I watched a video about Jim Riches' son, Jimmy. Very impacting.

    I remember 9/11 a little bit differently then everyone else. I went the entire day at school not knowing anything about what had happened that day in New York. The middle school I went to chose to keep quiet about the events and leave it to parents to discuss the attack as they felt necessary with their children. However, my bus driver has a radio system on his bus and was playing the newscast on my ride home, which is when I found out about the attacks. As you were, I was confused and had so many questions. I honestly felt so unsafe and was terrified being home alone until my parents got home from work.

    The reason I say that my experience was a little bit different, is that my brother's birthday is on September 11th and he was turning 9. We had plans to have the family over for supper and birthday cake that evening. Talk about awkward. But my parents made a rule that no television or radio was to be on in the house until after Brad's birthday supper was done. I honestly think that was great parenting on my parents part. We still acknowledged the crisis in America, but put on a smile and gave Brad the birthday he wanted.

    My heart and thoughts are with the city of New York and the people of America and around the world that were affected by the attacks of 9/11.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story, Melissa. I think it's important that we do, so we'll always remember that tragic day.


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