I was 12 years old in 2001; a 7th grader who stayed home “sick” on 9/11. After convincing my mom I didn’t feel well enough to go to school that day, I slept until a little before 9am (central time).
When I woke, I walked to the kitchen to get myself a drink. I was home alone and the only noise came from a radio in the kitchen. I wasn’t paying much attention because all I heard were adults talking. I got myself a drink and was looking for something to eat when I began piecing together random words I heard the DJ (or whoever) saying. Things like New York, Pentagon, airplanes, death toll, America under attack, etc. The “America under attack” part literally stopped me in my tracks.
Slightly panicked, hoping I’d misinterpreted what was being said, I went to the living room and turned on the t.v. Immediately the screen was filled with images of the twin towers.
I ran to the telephone and called my mom. She didn’t answer. I called a few more times with no luck, so began calling my grandparents. Still no answer so, even more panicked at this point, I went back to the living room and continued watching the news.
They replayed footage of the second plane hitting, people running in the streets, jumping out of buildings, images of the scene at the Pentagon. I was a kid but I understood on some level the magnitude of what I was watching unfold. I saw the towers collapse, heard about the plane in Pennsylvania – I was terrified. I live in the DFW metroplex and our local channels showed buildings in Dallas being evacuated. I still couldn’t get ahold of any relatives and had absolutely no idea what I was supposed to do so I just continued to sit in front of the t.v.
Eventually, my mom called. Obviously, our area was not attacked that day. All of my relatives were alive, just preoccupied when I was calling. I calmed down a little but remained glued to the t.v. for the rest of the day (and many, many days after..).
I have never returned to life as it was before September 11th. Despite my age, I did grasp the horror and enormity of that day and, although I didn’t personally know anyone directly affected (and by that I mean lost loved ones) by any of the attacks, I do know that Americans everywhere, of all ages, suffered right along with the people who so tragically had their friends and family taken away.
It was an attack on Americans, on freedom and on humanity. I will never forget and I will never stop feeling the effects of that tragic day.