Monday, March 7, 2011

Where were you..?

I always enjoy my classes more when they make me think about more than what we're talking about. I mean, more than just the facts about the subject matter but how things are and why they are the way they are and all that jazz...

Today I was sitting in my Human Rights class talking about terrorism and counter-terrorism and how they are intertwined with human rights. It's really interesting to think about how the effects of a person or small group of peoples actions just make things change so drastically.

Obviously we talked about September 11th. I mean, you can't talk about terrorism and not talk about that, especially if you're American. I mean, that was one of the most major events in our country's short history and so many things were changed because of it.

I mean, if that attack had been on anyone else, things would most likely not be the way they are. The United States just has too big of an impact on all things in the world that's what we get for thinking that everyone needs to kiss out white bums and do whatever we say. I mean, we are on the Security Council for the UN which basically means that, as a country, others have to follow what we say. I think that if this had happened to any one else, even to another country on the SC, all the effects would have been different. The world would be a completely different place. It's scary and weird to think about.

I'm sorry I'm getting all political, but it was just the reason I started thinking about where I was on the day the world changed forever.

It was that fateful Tuesday morning and I was in sixth grade, sitting in math class. The teacher I had, Mrs. Heinl, was the wife of the Assistant Principal. He came in and took her radio, which she thought was odd because he never did that. The air around me started to go tense as my teacher said, "Something must be wrong..."

The morning continued. Everyone was sitting in class, wondering what was going on outside the safe walls of out little private school. No one knew. No adult would tell us. We just sat in class, waiting. Two hours later I was sitting in my homeroom, watching as my teacher just fell to pieces. Still not knowing. Not understanding. Fearing that something terrible had happened-that something terrible would continue to happen.

When we finally were told that the two towers in New York City had been crashed into, no one knew what to do. My teacher, Mrs. Robinson, was sobbing. Apparently her daughter's boyfriend worked in one of the towers and he hadn't been reached yet (he got out, thank God). I'll never forget my friend Maria raising her hand, standing up, and looking at our mess of a teacher and tenderly saying, "It's ok, Mrs. Robinson, you can cry."

I remember sitting in silence the rest of the day. We weren't allowed outside for recess. I don't think anyone wanted to go out there anyway. When I got home my mom had the news on. We just watched the towers get smashed into for hours on end. I remember at one point asking if we could change the channel to something else and my mother looked at me saying, "No! This is too important, the world will never be the same." I think she thought I didn't care. That all I wanted to do was watch Sister Sister, or something. But really, I just wanted to not have that horrible image flashing before my eyes anymore. It was too hard to handle. The image, which is permanetly burned in my brain, was haunting. I didn't want to see people die or jump for their lives or listen to their bodies drop or watch the great towers crumble to nothing but dust. Even as an eleven year old, I knew. I knew that nothing would ever be the same.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on wanting to change the channel thing... it was so much, and I understood that it was important, but being 12 I didn't exactly get it at first. My mom picked my up from school that day, I remember the weather being so lovely, and she just explained it to me. We went to the gas station, bought a news paper, and I just sort of listened as she explained what terrorism really was and how the trade centers were a huge deal. In the days that followed more news came of the plain that the passengers over took that thankfully didn't collide with the White house and how brave those citizens were. It made me so proud to be American; it helped me see that what we have is worth fighting for. Great post.