Five years ago (although it's strange to think that five years has passed) the world trade center was destroyed. Everyone still can remember where they were that day.
I was in New York at school. In Manhattan on the upper east side. Very far from the twin towers. I can remember the assembly that took place. Well, some of it. My first thoughts (shock, can tend to only let a mind focus on one thing if that)was that, that was the end of Windows On The World. A place my grandmother loved to frequent on birthdays. No more windows on the world. I had heard the word terrorist before but it hadn't sunk in. They believed it was terrorist attack and that if we had working cell phones we should call our parents.
I remember that only one tear fell down my cheek. Then I began to realize what was going on. My uncle and aunt lived very close to The Twin Towers. My uncle who is in a wheelchair and was a lawyer frequently walked by or was in the buildings. I can still remember my ears popping on the 57th floor in the elevator. I had no idea where my father was that day, my grandparents often visited my uncle at work downtown. My mother and stepfather and almost two year old brother also came into New York to walk around. I didn't have a father who was a fireman or a cop. Or a brother, or a sister, or even a mother who would have been involved directly. I didn't have hundreds of crying pre-teens in panic over the situation. We just sat. Some made jokes, it probably was shock. I didn't have a reason for why my body seemed to twist and shake in itself. The day went by quickly. We weren't allowed out of the school, I sat in the cafeteria and stood on line for hot lunch. I was a vegetarian I didn't eat the meat pattie. I just sat and ate baby carrots and contemplated my spork.
A spork is a very strange and un-productive tool.
At about 2:30 they planned on us to sleep at the school. I lived about five minutes away and saw no point in why I had to sleep at the school...but I was excited too. The concept that something had gone so awry that school would become a giant scary sleepover interested me. My father came at about 3:30 (my grandmother endlessly argued with him over this "How could you leave her there so long??.." and we walked out onto the street. It was completely silent. I've lived in new york my entire life. Not even at 5:00 a.m. was it completely silent. Something out of a perverse dream. A tumbleweed did not roll by. A lone plastic bag did.
We got home easily. I stared for hours at the footage of the attack. My uncle and aunt had been evacuated and there became the search for the man in the wheelchair who'd recently had a toe removed on his foot, and the tall skinny redhead that would surely be with him. I looked out the window on the 11th floor. Every light across the way was on and everyone was doing the exact same thing. Sitting, using the phone, crying, or shaking their head. I don't remember going to sleep that night. I think the world went back to a numb normal for me.
That was the state of my mind. My aunt and uncle were let go and went with my grandparents to their house. Later on, the story of what my uncle and aunt had seen and done came out.
She had seen the plane lunge at the building, she had seen it fall and she had immediately lost it. My uncle on the other hand has always been a different force. They had reached the ferry. People were screaming,pushing,and falling down unable to think. My uncle who idolizes strong characters from old films, who can characterize anyone without sympathy and who has MS where the only thing affected was his spine wheeled his chair and and firmly said "Forward!" pointing towards some unannounced form of safety. It was his great moment, and of course he didn't realize it. Only my grandmother did in the next few days.
About a month after 9/11 I began to feel very ill. I had become very sick and there didn't seem to be a direct reason why or how or even what to do. I was in school for 40 days and that was it. I spent the year out and in hospitals for pretty easy procedures. I didn't graduate with my 8th grade class, I can't even remember most of that year thanks to numerous quantities of a hideous painkiller. It probably was brought on one because of an issue with a girl about six months beforehand, who in truth was a hideous bully but also was clinically insane...she fit a bill. It also had to be brought on by whatever shock occured from September 11th.
I definitely had nowhere near the worst of the brunt. I didn't lose anyone. There are some people who swear they had it worse than others. My mother (despite my complete decision that she WAS in the city with her family and in great danger) was sitting comfortably in her New Jersey home with a friend at 9 something when she was told to turn on her T.V. She and her friend watched the buildings collapse only about five minutes after they happened. She believes of any of us she had it worse. She watched it live. I don't like when people talk that way. We all were in serious pain and shock.
I wasn't sure how to deal with September 11th this year. It's too long ago to be in that great disabling pain for me. It's too soon to be treated as something that only sort of happened and there's no school because of it. Maybe that will be my generation's children that think that way. It only sort of occured.
Truthfully, much worse has happened. My grandfather can still remember Pearl Harbor as though it were only a few days ago. Because of him, it isn't just something that sort of occured in my mind. America got to live in a bubble for a good long time. Then the bubble burst. People aren't necessarily bad or ignorant because they cover their ears and close their eyes instead of looking around and seeing what is going on. They might still be in shock.
More likely they're just are trying to pull the bubble back over them.
I hope you all have a good day :)