I was in the seventh grade, only twelve years old. It was a time of silliness, of crushes, of girl drama, of complaining about how hard basketball practice had been. I thought people were generally nice to each. I didn’t know the true essence of evil. I didn’t realize that modern history could be change in an instant.
And that all changed in one day.
It was first hour and I was busy giggling with my friends in art class. The teacher came rushing into the room, “Kids, I think there has been an accident at the World Trade Center.” She didn’t think it was a big deal, but left the room to watch the news on the library anyway.
I didn’t even know what the World Trade Center was really. I was a skinny twelve-year-old girl from Oklahoma. I didn’t regularly watch the news and had never been anywhere near New York City.
She came back rather quickly. “You need to all come into the library and watch this with me. I think something big is happening.” I think she knew history was being made. We gathered around the television, all fifty-something junior high and high school students. (I’ve told you guys before, I graduated from a very small school.)
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the sight of the second airplane slamming into that building. Immediately, tears came to my eyes as I comprehended what was happening. People were dying, by the hundreds, right before my eyes.
Luckily, my mom taught English at my school, so she was there the entire time, answering my questions. “How many people are in those building?” “Who would do this?” “Are we in danger?” “Will there be more attacks?”
I was so scared, afraid that our country was going to be invaded, afraid that the war was coming, just afraid…
My mom started crying. One boy started searching for a Bible. People started leaping out of the burning buildings.
I’ll never forget the leaping.
The minutes passed slowly. And then we watched as first one tower fell and then the other. I remember bawling right there in the library of my school, in front of my classmates without any shame.
And then we gathered in a circle, holding hands and begin to pray. We prayed for those in the buildings, for President Bush, for the families, for our country, for peace. We just kept praying.
I didn’t know one person who was in NYC that day, but I still lost something that September morning. I lost my innocence.
Please remember those 2,977 victims today. Please remember those brave firefighters and policemen who gave it all that morning. Please kept their families in your prayers.
Please God, don’t let anything like that every happen to my country again.
I will never forget.
Where were you on that September morning?