Remembering the Day

Today is the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and that has escaped no one’s notice. The television streams live footage of the day ten years ago, the newspaper brims with reverences, and on the interest is cropping up multiple thoughts and grievances. And it helps to remember the day. All those wives of dead firefighters, those mothers of office employees– I’ve seen them on Tv, recounting their day. How it began completely normal:  raisin-bran toast and coffee. And then how their lives were changed.

When we go through a traumatic experience, sometimes the only way we can deal with it is to talk about it. I was so young on September 11, 2001 that I don’t remember quite everything. But I still remember it. And what I’m trying to say is that no matter what story is on your heart, you have to tell it.

In a story, we can make sense of what happens to us. In a story, we bring back people who have long ago deceased. In a story, we can properly deal with grief– reach a catharsis. This sentiment stretches beyond just 9/11, but to any event that affects you.

My third grade class was brought back early from recess.

My teacher wanted us to sit quietly while she talked with someone outside. I wasn’t really sure why we had to come in, because it was a clear blue day and we were playing kick ball. And no one had even been hurt, which sometimes tends to happen playing kick ball. But today there was no reason for the teachers to be upset; we were, however, made to sit quietly while they talked outside.

After a few minutes, you knew something was wrong. They were too tense. Even then, us third graders had the sense to sit silently and just stare at our desks. Then, they began to call kids out of the classroom. Something big had happened. Something huge.

An hour later, my mum showed up at the school to take me home; my brother had been home sick, I think. The first thing she said was, “Well, I thought it was the Sears Tower. I thought it was the Sears Tower and I love the Sears Tower. The architecture…” No one was really making sense that day, and everything everyone said seemed like some secret code. On the ride home, she said, “Well, we have to get home. It’s not safe at school. Parents are pulling out their children. What, with the nuclear plant so close…” She turned on the radio, and that’s the first time I heard what happened.

Of course, I didn’t know what the World Trade Center was or where the Twin Towers were– I found out that New York had been attacked by terrorists. Terrorists:  that was another foreign word. All I knew of terrorists were that they wore masks in my GI Joe video game. I just want to show you how much of a disconnect it was for me to understand everything going on– I was just a kid.

When we arrived at home, we watched the footage again and again on television. I guess I still didn’t understand the significance until the next day at school, when everyone was talking about America being attacked. We would go to war, and I wondered if there would be fighting where I live. I couldn’t imagine tanks or guns in my downtown.

We remember things like this, days that make a huge impact on us. I was just 7 years old on that day, but I remember it as well. And it helps to talk about it, I think. So if you have a story that you need to tell, feel free to tell it to me. I don’t mind listening, because stories are really important. They really are.


10 thoughts on “Remembering the Day

  1. I don’t know if you’ll be interested in my story, but I’ll tell it to you. Then you can just answer, do nothing or even delete it.

    I was in my country, Argentina, that day. I was in my thirtysomethings, and what first came to my mind when I heard the news, was that it was simply impossible that the United States could be objective of a terrorist attack in its own territory. The first hit to WTC1 was unbelievable. What to say then, about the second jet hitting WTC2, only 17 minutes after the first attack?????

    I’ll be honest: I’m a skeptic person. Not only in terms of religion, but also in relation with Society, Politics, and every aspect where human nature plays its role.
    Even today, I cannot simply “buy” the official story.

    Because it’s so unreal.

    Because it hasn’t been properly explained, and too many issues remain unsolved.

    Because all security, intelligence and strategic measures FAILED (?) that morning.

    Because a third objective was THE PENTAGON!!!!!!!! (please, read it again… How can you explain it????).

    Because Larry Silverstein made immense profit with the destruction of WTC, the insurance paid twice, for considering separately each of the attacks, as Act of Terrorism, instead of Act of War, and got the towers destructed at no cost.

    There comes a time when we need to put our feelings aside, you need to overcome the trauma, and start being critical with what you’ve seen.

    I’m feeling this 9/11 as if had occurred in my own country. My empathy with North American people is total. But there’s an abyss between North American People and North American government agents. If you know what I mean….


    1. I know there’s a lot of messed up politics around what happened, but I mean more to honor those who helped save others. Those who lost loved ones and those who sacrificed their lives.

  2. This is the first perspective I’ve heard from someone so young and unaware of the events when they happened. Your post was touching and honest. I really appreciate what you had to say and how you said it.

    Great job, Derek!

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