When I was in eighth grade, I had absolutely nothing to complain about. I mean sure...I complained (hello, I was a middle schooler), but really I had NOTHING legitimate to whine about. I had two fabulous, still married parents that loved me and pretty much gave me whatever I wanted within reason. I had a sister who, despite daily fights about who borrowed who's clothes without asking, looked after me and treated me more like a friend than an annoying little sis. I was growing up in a small, quiet town with virtually no crime rate. I could run around my farm all day and all night long without a worry. I was innocent, naive, and carefree - everything a 13 year old girl should be.
Then one day, 9 years ago today, I walked into my social studies class to find an image similar to this on the TV
I walked in right as a plane was hitting the second tower. I seriously thought there was an action movie playing in the background - until I heard the commentary of a news anchor. Some very horrified, unscripted commentary.
In an instant, my world was shattered. I didn't know anyone who might have been in danger...not by a long shot, but I did know I didn't feel safe. I mean, this was America. All of our fighting was done overseas. No one would ever bomb or attack us all the way over here. In my (barely) teenaged mind, things like this just did NOT happen in the United States. I don't know if I even recognized that things like this happened in other parts of the world. In my head, vicious attacks like this ended with World War II (like I said, I was naive..about a lot of things).
Suddenly, people were throwing around words that I'd never heard before - words like "terrorist" and "al-Qaeda". I couldn't seem to wrap my head around the fact that a COUNTRY wasn't responsible for this. In history, I'd always heard things like "X Country attacked Y Country" not "X terrorist group attacked the civilians of Y nation".
There's a time when everyone grasps the concept that the world is much bigger than they realize. It may not come when until they're 90 years old, or it may come when they're a 13 year old middle schooler. The day I realized that the world expanded beyond my small town in the country was September 11, 2001.
Where were you on that day? How did it effect you?
PS - Thanks to Lauren at Mommy is Rock n Roll for her post that inspired me to write this.
- ▼ September (7)