September 11th was, to me, like any other morning.
I was in second grade, and only about seven years old, and I didn’t really understand why my mother and grandmother were crying in front of the television that morning. I just wanted to get dressed and go to school.
My memories are very fuzzy, but I remember being at school shortly after the attack, either the day of or the day after, but I remember my teacher trying to explain to us what happened in a way that innocent, bright-eyed seven-year-olds could understand without our souls being shattered.
I think that she tried to ease us into some sort of unifying, cultural-awakening sort of thing, because I remember us all talking about where our families came from or something.
And one of my fellow classmates, who was middle-eastern, said that his family had emigrated from Pakistan, and I vividly recall another classmate of mine, a perfectly nice boy whom had never hurt a fly, leaping up from his seat and shouting, “Traitor!”
Even though I did not understand why he was said that at the time, as a seven year-old, that outburst made my stomach churn. It still does, and I try to avoid thinking about it.
I think that now, years later, that moment was what truly made 9/11 a tragedy for me.