Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget

I will never forget.

Never forget when my mom came into my bedroom, waking me up by exclaiming, "Wake up! Two planes have hit the World Trade Center!" (I'm ashamed to admit that I wasn't 100% sure that the World Trade Center was in New York.) With my dad as a small plane pilot, I remember thinking, "How could a Cessna pilot run into buildings? They are huge! Must have been a really inexperienced pilot."

Never forget when I turned on the TV. The now familiar shot of the Twin Towers with plumes of smoke billowing out of them. Peter Jennings told me what he knew. Commercial airliners. Fire. Smoke. Thousands of people. Trapped.

Never forget when the first time I changed the channel, to CNN, and then switched it back to Peter Jennings...there was a huge grey cloud and one of the towers was gone. He was confused, thought there must have been some sort of explosion. And then everyone realized what had happened. It fell. Just collapsed.

Over the years, around the anniversary, I always always watch the shows. The documentaries. Last year I watched the documentary 120 minutes of September 11th. (Or something like that.) It went in real time. And I was taken back to that innocence lost, the time in my life where all I cared about was going out on Thursday night, and I could not even imagine not walking with my boyfriend to the gate of my flight to say goodbye.

The stories are endless. The heroes of the 88th floor of the north tower. The videographers who just happened to be following the fire battalion stationed closed to the towers. The people who saw it out of their living room windows. The first responders, the thousands of people rushing out, the guy who was saved because of Monday Night Football. And that is just what happened in New York.

Every December 7th, I think about Pearl Harbor. And I wonder if Pearl Harbor felt to my grandparents what 9/11 feels to my generation. I always think that 9/11 had to feel worse, because I just can't imagine being more shocked. More dismayed. More sad. The sadness was intense. Especially a couple of days later when it became apparent that there would be no more survivors. The people in those buildings weren't trapped at the bottom of a huge pile of rubble. They were part of the rubble.

I don't ever want to forget. When I see any of the documentaries, and I see the South Tower fall, a part of me stands still. Frozen in time, my mind tries to comprehend just what happened. Even though I have seen the shows on WHY the towers fell, it just amazes me that something that big was brought down. And that people, many people, hated America that much to do this to us. I still don't understand.

We should never forget. I will never forget.