Didn’t Understand

Date Submitted: 09/11/2017
Author Info: Beth (Portland, ME - USA) 
Occupation: Customer Service/Support
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

I was 10 when 9/11 happened. I remember sitting in my 5th grade class, and my principal suddenly walked into the room. She leaned over and whispered something to my teacher, and abruptly left. We thought for sure that our teacher would tell us what our principal had said, but after a minute of composing herself she simply continued on with the lesson.

At the end of the day, my sister and I were dropped off at home. We lived at the top of a mountain, and the school bus would drop us off at the bottom of our very long driveway. My mom was waiting to pick us up in her car, which was unusual because she only did that in poor weather or on special occasions. We hopped in the car and both began chattering about how great our days were, and when we got to our house my mom finally said, “They didn’t tell you?” My sister and I were surprised and asked what she was talking about. I remember my mom sitting us down in front of the television and turning it on.

I watched those towers fall and felt nothing but shock and confusion. I asked my mom who did this and she tried her best to explain. I thought of my extended family who live in New York, and my mom reassured us they were fine.

Today, I feel nothing but intense respect for my parents. My mother was forced to explain something to two young children that really was too big for them to grasp. I wrote in my journal that night, not fully grasping what had happened still. I watch anniversary footage every year now, just trying to better grasp what my 10 year old mind could not.


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