September 11, 2001- I was in the 8th Grade. It was the week we were scheduled to do our state testing. As we were sitting in the library waiting to begin, an announcement came on- a plane had crashed in New York- testing was cancelled for the day and we were to go to our scheduled class. At this point, I didn't understand what was going on- how had a plane crashing in New York affected us? Around me, I remember many were relieved to put these tests on hold. Again, we had no idea the scale of what was happening. As we watched the news throughout the rest of the day, we all became very aware. Through the halls there was talk of World War 3. The whole day seemed so surreal. How had something like this happened HERE? In America? I had never been one to watch the news much (and still don't today), and this all was so shocking to me. In the days, weeks, even months that followed, we followed the headlines daily. In History, we kept a journal on all of the events as they were happening and our thoughts on those. I would be interested to read what I had written at the time but I don't believe I still have it. But to be entirely honest, aside from making me more aware of the world around me, I can't say that my personal life was affected TOO much at that time. I didn't know anyone in New York. Or who was flying that day. I didn't personally know anyone in the military. I was not affected firsthand, nor was anyone I knew at that time. I think all of us were changed in some ways that day, how could we not be? But at that time it wasn't quite so personal. Several years later, when I married my husband, a US Marine, that changed. No longer was it something that did not affect me directly. Now, as I welcome my husband home from his fourth deployment, the results of that day are all too real for me.
Today, as we look back at the events at that day and how America and our world has changed, I say a prayer for all those who were lost that day. For those who went on about their work days, never realizing it would be their last. For those on the planes who never reached their destinations. For the heroes who risked their lives, going into the towers to save others. For those who made it, and for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. I say a prayer for the families left behind, waiting for word that their loved ones had made it. I pray for the military lost in this fight, and for their families. And I pray for those currently serving. May we never forget the events of that day or the lives lost to terrorism.