It’s hard to believe that sixteen years ago, I was a senior in high school at Osbourn in Manassas, Virginia. The day started out like any other typical school day, I attended my first and second period classes without fully realizing the horror that was happening outside in the real world. I found out soon enough in my third period class, when my teacher announced that terrorists had hijacked two planes and crashed them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. She also told us they hijacked another plane and crashed it into the Pentagon and a fourth plane with its destination undetermined (later, we found out passengers had fought back against the terrorists and the plane crashed in Pennsylvania).
I remember feeling completely shocked and helpless when I saw the images on the television, especially when both towers of the World Trade Center collapsed. I was overcome with emotion, but I held the tears back because I did not want to cry in front of everyone. Believe me, it was hard to do. A lot of people were in tears or very close to it. Lunch time, which was normally loud and festive, was quiet and subdued. Eating lunch felt hollow and sad. Worry also plagued my mind because my mother and aunt worked in DC and I had trouble communicating with them to see if they were safe. When I finally went home, I found my mother and aunt were safe and all right.
That night, I cried for the loss of life and the heroism that was shown by the fire fighters, rescue workers, police officers, and coast guard members who risked their lives to save people trapped in the twin towers of the World Trade Center before they collapsed. Seeing the towers go down hurts. Even after eleven years, every time I see footage of the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapse, I have tears in my eyes.
9/11 changed us all that day and I believe we should never forget what happened that day.