Another 9/11 Memory

Seventeen years.

I can’t believe we’ve reached the seventeenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Everyone has his or her own story, his or her memories, his or her emotions regarding the event. My story is probably not much different than many others, but it is mine.

On September 11, 2001, my world got a little bit smaller…and a lot darker.

There I was, a wiry 8th-grader who had just sat down for an early lunch at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School.

Suddenly the principal, Mr. Cadran, walked into the room. He motioned for us to listen.

“Some of you may have heard, but there has been a serious accident in New York,” he said. “We will keep you all updated as soon as we find out more.”

I, of course, hadn’t the slightest clue what he was talking about. I turned to my classmates.

“What’s he talking about?” I asked.

“I heard that someone crashed a plane into the World Trade Center,” one of my friends said.

Before I could respond, he continued.

“Then, I heard the guy got into a helicopter and crashed it into the Pentagon.”

It seemed pretty outrageous to me.

Then we went back to our classroom and turned on the TV.

Yeah, it was a little more catastrophic than just some dude crashing a plane, escaping, then crashing a helicopter.

Obviously the rest is history.

To me, at the time, terrorists were just bad guys with machine guns getting their tails kicked by either Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.

But THESE terrorists didn’t have guns. They weren’t cardboard cutouts only to be lit aflame by John McClane as he yelled “yippie-ki-yay motherfucker!”

These terrorists had box cutters, which was honestly far more unsettling.

A group of people hijacked a few airplanes with box cutters and unleashed hell on earth in New York City, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.

Up until September 11, 2001, my world had revolved around video games, Civil War history, and NC State athletics. America was impenetrable, and evil seemed confined to movies and TV shows.

On September 12, I had to start learning more about the dangers of the world.

God bless America.

Oh, and fuck terrorists.


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