Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Forever Remembered

   There are moments that stir us; that stay with us forever.  I can remember being a very little girl and hearing my grandpa talk about Pearl Harbor; when he first heard of the attack.  At the time, I was too young to know what he was talking about.  I knew it had to be something significant, because his eyes looked distant and there was a look on his face of almost disbelief.  It was like he was reliving that day and the horror all over again.  After Pearl Harbor, my grandpa joined the Navy.  The memory of those lost on that fateful day stayed with him, and urged him to fight.
   When I was older, my mother told me about the Challenger Space Shuttle.  I don't remember what recalled this memory for her, but tears filled her eyes as she told me what happened.  It was like she was still there; like she was still holding my older sister, who was a baby at the time. Many were watching, because the shuttle was going to take the first female teacher into space.  My mother watched as the shuttle launched with the hopes of America, and she watched as it exploded; crushing America's heart.  As with my grandpa, my mother's recollection of the event was so that I knew that moment would always stay with her.
   As an eighth grader, I woke up on a Tuesday morning, not knowing that I was going to keep that day in my heart forever.  I don't remember what I ate for breakfast on that morning, what I wore, or even who my best friend was at the time. What I do remember was what I saw on the television screen.  I was in my choir class.  My teacher had been informed to turn on the news.  My class watched the as World Trade Center's tower burned.  We were all in shock, and I was confused.  My classmates and I sat in silence as we watched the smoke leave the building.  It seemed like I was living in a daze, yet then came one moment that my memory cannot release.  I, and my classmates, watched as the second plane flew into the second tower.  My confusion turned into terror, and we all realized this could not have been an accident.  We knew that our nation was under attack.  As the day went on, a sadness lingered in the halls of our school.  I remember very clearly, that out of everyone, our teachers looked the most fearful.  We were too young to fully grasp what had just happened, but it was much more clear to them.  My english teacher told us to take out a piece of paper and write down what had happened and our feelings about it.  I sat at my desk with my piece of paper, not knowing what to write.  I didn't know what to say, all I knew was that I was living a dark day in my nation's history. As the day went on, I started to think of the souls that were lost on those planes and in those buildings.  I thought about the families who lost loved ones in such a tragic way.  As years have passed, the memories of that day haven't faded.  No, the memories have grown.  When we are farther away we see a bigger picture, and that is what my years have done with September 11th.  Whenever I recall sitting in that choir classroom and watching the towers burn, I feel sick to my stomach. The wound is always fresh, and the memory of those lost on that fateful day will stay with me always.

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