Monday, September 12, 2011

My thoughts on 'remembering'.

I wasn't going to write about my memory of 9/11 like some people have, but after reading everyone else's stories, I realize my perspective of it is totally different.

I was only 9 years old in 5th grade when 9/11 happened, and I didn't even know what the World Trade Centers were. I had never heard of them, so when I was on the bus on my way to school and a friend said that were hit with planes, I said, 'Um, ok?' and went back to the Backstreet Boys playing on my Discman.

When I got to school, everyone in my class was asking if we could turn on the news to know what was going on. I still had absolutely no idea what everyone was talking about and didn't understand what the commotion was about. Ok, so there was a plane crash? It happens all the time. (Or so my young mind thought.) Why was this one so special? My teacher said that we were not going to watch the news and that if anyone even talked about it that day, they would be sent to sit in the hall. I thought it was strange that she demanded that we don't talk about it, but again, I had no idea what was going on so I didn't pay any attention to it.

In the weeks after I totally forgot about it until my dad was talking to a friend saying that they knew who was behind the attacks. I was being an ignorant little girl and said, 'What? They're going to try and blame some random guy?! How do they even know it was him?'

Obviously down the road I would learn more about the attacks but I was just not interested in it at the time. I was a normal 9 year old and wasn't interested in politics or war or anything like that, which I still am not interested in. It didn't immediately affect me, here in this small town of Flagstaff, so it was out of sight, out of mind. It would ultimately affect me because a lot of the country changed that day, but it didn't really affect me in any way. I didn't know anybody in New York, school went on as normal, and not a single thing changed in my life.

When the death toll came out, I still didn't see it as a big deal. A thousand people? That's nothing. I was thinking on a large scale about how many millions of people we had in this country.

As I've gotten older and have seen more images and learned more things, I've realized just how tragic it was. It was simply a fucked up thing that happened and it's horrible to think about. It makes me think of my loved ones and how scary it would be to be in a situation like that and I can't even fathom it.

I can still honestly say that it hasn't affected me in the way it's affected a lot of other people, other than the fact that my friends that I grew up with are now fighting in a horrible war. When I see the images from 9/11, it instills in me the sadness that other tragedies instill, such as Katrina, the Japan earthquakes, and mass killings. It doesn't make me hate anyone because I don't know that person, I have no emotional connection to them. It doesn't make me want to go protect my country like it does others. It just makes me incredibly sad that bad things happen in life and makes me question what our world is coming to and the kind of people who populate it.

I'm sure I seem ignorant or something, but that's how I feel. It seems like SO many people's lives were affected in a huge way this day so it's kind of shameful in a way to say that mine wasn't. Should I feel something different? Should I sit here glued to my computer screen looking at picture after picture crying? Should I feel an increased sense of pride in my country for 'not letting the terrorists win'?

Do any of you younger people close to my age feel that way?


  1. I decided not to post about it either. I got up in the morning to get ready for school and my mom was watching TV which was really rare. I remember saying "Wow, cool!" when I saw an image of all the smoke because I thought it was a new action movie. She told me what had happened and I went to school feeling very nervous. We watched the news all day in all of my classes that day. So sad. 

  2. Aw, I didn't realize you were that young. But I do think it's completely understandable that you were that young and didn't really grasp it. I was a 13 or 14 year old freshman and while I was scared/sad...I still didn't grasp the FULL measure of's one of those things that as we age, is going to continue to shift and change in our perception of it.