• Christine Ward

In Retrospect to 9/11/2001

My Train of Thought for Today

Most of us remember exactly what we were doing the moment we found out about the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and Flight 93 - At least I know I do. The events of that day have forever been ingrained into my mind, and I still tear up thinking about it. I’ve been obsessively thinking about it today, who hasn’t?

My memory consists of sitting down in social studies class (my second class of the day), then hearing the announcement over the school PA, and not quite understanding what was being said. Sirens were going off somewhere. I remember looking around at everybody’s faces and realizing that no one was saying a word. Not one word.

I remember we had TVs in our classrooms, and someone reached up to turn ours on. We watched in silence as the devastation unfolded. Some people started to cry; some were still in shock. I was in shock.

"Do they continually feel the same way I did on that fateful Tuesday morning?"

Thinking back to it now, I realize that it was the first time I ever gave any thought about not being safe in my country. It was the first time I ever gave conscious thought to my mortality, and the possibility of death for my loved ones. What a shocking revelation for a 13-year-old girl who’s only care in the world was cheering for the upcoming middle school football game.

I realize now that the nightmares, the fear of being in crowded places, and the fear of the unknown were deeply rooted in me that day. Looking back, I think that it was the very first day I had an actual panic attack, though I didn’t know what to call it then. I know that there were many other mass tragedies before 9/11, I also know that none left the kind of mark on my soul as 9/11 did.

The continuing media coverage only continued to perpetuate my anxieties. While staying with that train of thought, I wondered how my kids feel about the numerous tragedies in the media currently. Do they continually feel the same way I did on that fateful Tuesday morning? It seems to me like the number of mass attacks have increased over the years. Maybe it’s just that I’m conscious of it now that I’m older.

"I wonder, are they always in fear, or have they been desensitized?"

While talking to my kids about the possibility of attacks; I realized that they’re already aware of the evil in this world. My heart hurts knowing that they must do active shooter drills in school, although I’m thankful that they do. With that revelation, I wonder, are they always in fear, or have they been desensitized? I wish for neither.

How lucky am I to look back on 9/11, though, and not have a person attached to the memory? Thousands of people weren’t as fortunate. My heart is heavy as I sit and ponder about the events that unfolded that day, how it affects me now, and how it still affects millions of people in this country. Do you remember what you were doing when you found out?

Thanks for reading.


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