I Remember September 11th.

It is difficult to comprehend that there exists a day in our lifetime that every person, in a nation of 300 million people, can each account for.

I don’t remember what I consumed my day with on September the tenth, nor do I recall the twelfth, the thirteenth, or any other miscellaneous date I have lived in my eighteen years of living.

But I remember September Eleventh.

In sixth grade algebra I spent my morning in a tranquil slumber, my classmates working diligently beside me. We had no idea what was about to unfold.

Second period came. Another tower fell. Our Language Arts teacher went about her lesson. Before the next bell rang, she became aware of the event that had certainly consumed every radio and television broadcast in the country by this hour.

“Oh Lawdy,” she said, a sullen and distressed tone in her voice. “It’s terrible, just terrible.” When a classroom interrogation of this “terrible” thing erupted, she promptly deferred us to our third period teacher. We were dismissed a second time without the slightest notion of the events unfolding at was was soon to be known as “Ground Zero.”

When I arrived at home from school I found my mom, her face in her hands, crying over the counter in the corner of our kitchen.

Third period. The reading teacher tells us this––

“Oh that? Just some terrorist attack.” She was obviously frustrated that we had thought to waste her lesson time with such an irrelevant inquiry. I don’t remember what we learned that day. I do remember her disgustingly apathetic response. I do remember September Eleventh.

I walked home from school that afternoon, clueless, still. When I arrived home I found my mom, her face in her hands, crying over the counter in the corner of the kitchen.

She told me what happened.

“All those children,” she wept. “All those children with no parents to come home to today…”

That was the last thing I remember her saying before we began sobbing together. She held me close, and I remembered September Eleventh.

Written in 2008.

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