Why?

We remember for the all the lives cut short so unfairly. We should remember that day and the days following it because it altered America as a nation forever, yet we stood united. United under a terrible veil of fear, shock and disbelief; yes, but ardently united together in the condemnation of attacks like this to any peoples both foreign or domestic.

Inspired by Jesse Paul’s piece from The Colorado Sun I believe it is important to remember Sept. 11th and to share it with others. You can find his article here: Opinion: I grew up as part of the 911 generation[…]

I too grew up as part of the generation of kids in America and the globe who’s literal world was shook by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

I was 16 years old and a sophomore in high school. I went to school in Lee’s Summit, MO. A quaint city within the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. It was 6 days shy of my 17th birthday and the day began like any other.

First period

My first period was physical education and we had a field trip scheduled that day. So, my fellow students and I all piled into another school bus after arriving at school, to go play some miniature golf. We arrived and retrieved our putters with many enthusiastic students quickly making way for the course. Our teacher, and school’s football coach went too, the class spiel already completed on the bus. Other students were mingling while the rest were trickling into the rear of the establishment.

The rear of the business housed the concession and arcade room. There mounted into the corner of the concession counter was a small 8” tube TV. The business was just opening, so the TV was not initially on. I do not remember who turned it on or who noticed the burning WTC on the TV first, but I do remember loud and anxious chatter that got everyone’s attention.

This was near the time the second tower was hit. Many of us, including an employee stared dumbfounded at this tiny TV. We were all at a loss for words attempting to comprehend the situation while some held their putters just a little too tightly.

Soon, the coach came in to see why the majority of the class was not on the course. The remainder of the class divulged of staring at that tiny TV. I remember prior to leaving I played two holes on my way out, more a distraction with nervous chatter than actual putting concentration.

A somber and tense time

We returned to a nervous and somber school. Many teachers were clearly distraught by the whole situation. While others were striving to save face in the midst of a tragedy.

It struck each kid differently. Some didn’t seem to care or hid it well, while others were in tears. If fact, to many I do believe the reality had not truly sunk in quite yet. And if hadn’t already, it had by the end of the school day. As more information trickled in, everyone seemed shell-shocked.

The rest of the day at school was quiet except for the consistent sound of strained whispering, rolling TV carts and news anchors.

Which pretty much explains the immediate days, weeks and even months following the attack. Everything and everyone was quiet, a bit melancholy and tense. School, grocery stores, movie theaters, and all public places were this way. Yet, hidden within, was grace.

People were more decent and less quick to anger. There was an air of leniency. Everyone was a bit more empathetic, kind, and generous.

This is why we remember 911. We do it for the lives lost and so that they may remind the living that we each share the same thing, life. So, embrace each other with the compassion that we all strive for the same thing.

We all live with the objective of being happy, our lives are all different and yet the same. –Anne Frank, 1944