I was eleven. Mom comes bursting into my room with what I (sound asleep) heard as "G, wake up. One of Daddy's planes crashed." I woke up in a terror-stricken panic and then heard what she was really saying over and over: "One of daddy's company planes crashed. An American Airlines plane crashed." She took me in her room to watch the news, which we did in silence until it was time to go to school. She said I didn't have to go but I wanted to be with my friends. School was silent. We didn't work, we didn't do class. We just sat and watched the news in each class. I remember the murmuring and the rumors and the "I heard" this and "my mom and dad said" that as my classmates tried to process what had happened. We were at that age where we were old enough to understand war and the concept of terrorism, but young enough where that sense of innocence about the world still existed. It was shattered that day though. It was particularly terrifying for me since my dad is an American Airlines pilot.
PTSD was very real for a lot of us, I think. I couldn't sleep and cried a lot that year whenever I thought of 9/11 because the pictures from the news of the planes were burned into my mind. Thankfully a particular film came out that December that really helped me (and more than just me, I think) process what I was feeling with just a few lines of dialogue. All I could think about in the theater during that scene was 9/11, and it made me cry because I knew even in the terror there was hope.
"I wish none of this had happened."
"So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, besides the will of evil...and that is an encouraging thought."
Where were you on 9/11/2001? Leave a comment and share your story.