Young & Far Away

Date Submitted: 05/09/2012
Author Info: Jessie (South Australia - USA) 
Occupation: Student
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

I myself woke that morning, as an eight-year-old, to my parents sitting gaunt in the lounge room with the TV repeatedly showing the events over and over and over. Mum had woken in the middle of the night for a glass of water to find an apocalypse unfolding on TV. She thought it was a movie until the second plane hit the second tower right before her eyes, so she woke Dad, and they sat together and watched as the towers fell. The biggest thing I remember was the fear; nobody knew what was going on, or if anything else was going to happen. Even from as far away as Australia, Mum didn’t want me to go to school that day, but Dad was resolute; we couldn’t let it interrupt our life, otherwise ‘they’ (whoever they were) would have succeeded. It was warm and sunny; I remember cockatoos outside the classroom window mucking around in the tops of the gum trees, just like any other day. The first lesson was Drama class, usually full of kids going absolutely crazy dressed up in costume. This time myself and the few others who were there all sat in a circle with our teacher who tried his hardest to explain to a group of traumatized kids just old enough to be frightened of the consequenses of planes being purpose-driven into skyscrapers, people jumping out of windows, and buildings seeming to implode upon themselves with thousands of people still inside, what had happened and why. In the end he gave up and the scraggly remains of the school got together in the gym and watched Disney movies all day while the teachers huddled around the one TV with reception in a tiny room at the back. Ironically enough, though I didn’t realise why at the time, Aladdin’s ‘A Whole New World’ played that day. Growing up, I was always fascinated with documentaries and movies based on 9/11. Even my parents thought it strange. I think it was probably just the eight-year-old inside trying to come to grips with what she witnessed.


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