Where were you on this day 14 years ago? I was a senior in high school driving to school. I will never forget that day for as long as I live.
Two days prior to that fateful day, I had flown home to Texas after spending four days in sunny San Diego. It was a Tuesday morning and I remember listening to the radio as I was driving and being annoyed at the fact that the music was interrupted with news. I was 17 years old; I just wanted to listen to music on my daily drive to school. Then I heard something about twin towers and a suspected terrorist attack. They said airplanes hit the World Trade Center and people were panicking. Truthfully back then I did not even know then what the World Trade Center was. As I listened, I realized the magnitude of what was happening. In my small world, I was so absent-minded to what a terrorist attack was. And on American soil? It couldn’t be real. For some reason, my mind drifted to Timothy McVeigh and Oklahoma City, as well as the bombing at the Atlanta Olympics. That was my earliest memory of a terrorist attack. But two airplanes hitting the World Trade Center? Another one smashing into the Pentagon? A fourth crashing in a field in Pennsylvania? How could this be possible? Why was this happening? My little mind just couldn’t comprehend how and why this was going on. Why would anyone want to do this to America? Didn’t people love Americans?
I don’t remember much about that day, as far as what I did. I don’t recall many of the motions I went through. I do remember, however, sitting in government – my first class of the day. We didn’t do anything that day but stare at the screens of the television. My teacher didn’t instruct us, we didn’t take any tests. Nothing. During the 45 minute class, we literally sat there in silence, watching CNN. At 10:28am (EST), which was 9:28am in Texas, the North Tower of the WTC collapsed. I saw it occur on television. My whole class gasped and the air was sucked out of us. How could this really be happening right in that moment? On live television. It was devastating.
However, I do remember for days and months after, that is anyone could talk about. What was going to happen to Americans? To our Nation? In the world? There were so many questions that followed the attacks on 9/11. I think some of those questions are still left unanswered.
Less than two months after the attacks, Alan Jackson released a song, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)”. Listen to it below:
Today, 14 years later, I cannot hum, sing, or listen to that song without tearing up. It is a true feeling of what we, as a Nation, felt when September 11, 2001 occurred. I would like to encourage you to think about what you were doing on that day. Think back to this day, 14 years ago and reflect on your thoughts, your feelings, where you were, what you were doing and remember those lives who were lost, altered, and forever changed because of selfish acts of others, attempting to shatter our country.
I would also like to inspire you to share your story. Share your memories with others. Keep this in mind – not everyone remembers it exactly the same way. There are people out there who were children when this unimaginable act occurred. Share your story with them because one day – those young children will be the only memory left of those atrocious events that transpired on September Eleventh Two Thousand and One.