Sunday, September 11, 2011


It has been ten years since this happened. Ten years.

I was sitting in my fourth grade language class. Our teacher told us to gather around her chair on the rug, and I remember being annoyed because the rug was always dirty and she never wore shoes. She proceeded to explain that something bad had happened, and if the teachers and our parents were acting strangely, that was why. I don't remember her elaborating any more, just that it was something bad.

When I got home that afternoon, my mom's face was red from crying and I asked what was wrong. She sat me down at the dining room table, and asked me if I knew what the word "hijack" meant. I thought I knew it, and I have no idea where I even got this idea from, but I told her it was when an airplane hit another airplane from behind. I remember feeling very smart and grown-up as I gave her my answer, and then very sheepish after she told me the correct definition.

She explained about the four planes that had crashed, what the buildings were and why they were important, and that it was all an attack on the United States. She told me how many people they thought were in the towers when they collapsed, and how hard they were working to recover people from the rubble. She assured me that it was going to be okay.

My parents forbade me to watch the news, but, naturally, I did anyway. I remember that they kept showing the towers collapsing, and footage of people running from the wall of smoke and dust caused by the fall. I remember a specific replay of the second plane hitting or the first tower collapsing, and the newscasters in shock, only capable of saying, "Oh God. Oh my God."

The events of September 11, 2001 are something that lay very heavily on my heart, and seem to get heavier as I get older. I don't know if that has come with the increased understanding of what happened, or if it's something else entirely, but it's there and my heart aches for it.

I know that we're never going to forget. Everyone who was alive when this happened will remember it for the rest of their lives. It is not something that leaves you, no matter if you were there or if you lost someone or if you even really understood what was happening at the time.

And I know it upsets some people that such a big deal is made every year, that America is "picking at the scab," but it's needed. No, we'll never forget, but it's important to let people know that we still remember. It was an event that dramatically altered the entire nation, and continues to define things we do today. Lives were lost, families were broken. Everything changed.

We're not picking at the scab. We're continuing to doctor it, and though it will never heal completely, it's nice to know it's getting better.



mayte michelle. said...

I love how you write. and it's true, we're not picking at the scab.
I think that the older we get, we're more capable of putting ourselves in other people's shoes. We try harder to understand what the people that lost someone went through, what the people that decided to jump from the burning buildings went through.
take care Maggie<3

Ash said...

I remember I was about to walk into the bathroom to get ready for school and my Yr 7 camp. Then I saw the news and the story.

I live in Australia, and me and the people here (and people in any other country) will never truly know exactly what it was and is like for a country and its people to go through that. I don't think commemoration and rememberance of the event is 'picking at the scab'. I think the people who say that have no idea at all about the situation and it's repercussions. That event should be remembered. That's the way it should be.

I read an article today saying that America is always united as never before on the rememberance days of that event, and I guess it's true. I just hope that what's been done to prevent things like that from happening again have been succesful, and that the lives lost in 9/11 and since than in the war effort have not been in vain.

Lizzie said...

This was beautifully written.

lina said...

i remember exactly what happened that day. i think a lot of people do. i was a teenager & i was so scared & sad. thanks for writing this maggie : )

beenotafraid said...

Welp. This was ridiculously beautiful. Almost cried. It's whatever.

Natalie said...

My parents didn't tell me anything. All I knew was that there was a plane crash. I know they meant well, but I wish they hadn't of tried to protect me so much. Nevertheless I will always remember that day. And this was amazingly written, as previously stated. I wanted to write something about 9/11 but didn't have the time to give it the attention it warranted, and you basically said everything I would have said in a much more wonderful way than I could've. So thank you.

Andrew said...

I want to be one of your proofers...not because I am good with grammar or any such nonsense, but because I want to be able to read your works before anyone else has the chance to.

Bookish.Spazz said...

I can't help but get misty eyed about it whenever I think about 9/11.

We should never forget.

Jazzy E (hivenn) said...

<3 you write so well.

Nicola said...

i love your writing maggie. you are so wonderful.

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