I was in the fourth grade on September 11, 2001. I went to a Catholic school in VA Beach then. I can remember exactly what I was working on that day a teacher came into our class to tell my teacher the news. I remember the way her face froze as she rushed out of the room. She came back in a few minutes later and told us what happened. I remember my heart stopped because I could not remember where my dad was. His company was based out of NYC at the time and frequently had to travel there. So frequently I could not remember if he was in NY or somewhere else. We stopped everything and prayed. My mom came to pick me up early and this made me think something had happened to my dad. As I was walking down to the main office of the school I overheard two mothers speaking. And I remember one saying, “Yeah well you know where those people are going… hell.” My mom said everything was fine. She had come to get me because on the news they said they were going to lock down the schools because VA Beach is the largest military base in the US and they thought it would be the next place to be hit. I remember when I saw my dad I have never felt so relieved… or lucky. He had stayed in town to pick up a colleague of his from the airport. She was flying in from New York. He was the one who had to tell her what happened. He told us how she just broke down when she heard. She had family and friends who worked in the buildings. They rented her a car and she made the slow journey back up there to find out who was left.
September 11th is a day that changed everything. I remember all the flags I saw the weeks after and how it made me feel proud. Someone had hit us in the worst possible way but we didn’t stay down. No one could tear us down. Still today it is a sore subject and I can promise it will never be forgotten.