Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

I have been reflecting today on the events that took place 10 years ago today. I thought I should do a post about where I was on that day and the thoughts I had so that I can share them with my children when they are older and ask questions about what happened.

I woke up that morning to the phone ringing in my college apartment at BYU. I was annoyed because my alarm hadn't gone off yet and I wanted to sleep a little longer. Since my room was the closest to the phone I got up and got it. It was one of my roomate's moms, telling me to wake everyone up and turn the TV on. I remember turning it on and not really realizing what was going on. It hardly seemed real that THIS would happen in AMERICA! I remember huddling so close with my 5 roomates, Maren, Ruth, Jami, Loni, and Carley who I hadn't known for more than a few weeks. We were all scared and confused. As we got more information about the 2 planes, the Pentagon, and the plane that landed in PA my feelings changed from confusion to anger to sadness. It was also scary to me because I had gone to New York in the Spring of 2000 with the Sprague Concert Choir and we all stayed at the Marriot World Trade Center, which was suddenly gone. I couldn't help but think of us all being in there when that happened.
I went to class, not knowing what else to do, but my teacher sent us all home and asked us to spend that hour talking to our families. I did just that. I came home and called my parents. I remember wishing so bad I could be with them, in my dad's arms. Even though I was safe in Utah and they were safe in Oregon, it still scared me to be so far away from them. It was a surreal day. Over the next few days, weeks, and months as the death toll climbed and we learned more about the people behind the terrorist attacks it became more real. It seemed that, even walking around BYU campus (probably one of the safest places on earth) that everyone was walking with caution and fear.

10 years later, life has changed for everyone. I, thankfully, did not lose anyone on September 11th but my heart aches for those that did. But because of that one day, Americans now have a sense of vulnerability that my generation had never before experienced. I am frequently reminded of what the terrorists took from our country as I stand in the never failing long lines at airport security. I hate that we live in fear now. I hate that a little part of me is nervous every time Parker gets on the train to go to work, just blocks from the U.S. Capitol building. In some ways, I feel like they have won. However, as I watch many programs on TV today of the ways that America has triumphed I am proud, once again, to be an American. Ground Zero is a beautiful sacred place and the Pentagon memorial is beautiful as well. Americans can stand together and say We Will Not Forget.

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