18 Years Later – An East Texan’s Memories of 9/11
18 years ago today, I was sitting in a second grade classroom in Pineland, Texas. As most second graders, I couldn't quite grasp the severity of what we were told happened in New York by our teachers. We knew it was awful, simply because they sat us down and told us how bad it was. The seriousness of their voices conveyed that.
I couldn't quite grasp how truly awful the events were that were being replayed over and over again on the television. I couldn't quite grasp how much evil I truly watched unfold. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that there was just as much mental and emotional damage done to the entire country as physical damage.
I didn't realize that the entire world had eyes focused on America.
Those are the things that I didn't grasp as an elementary school student. Some of those things, I won't ever fully comprehend. However, there are far greater things that I do remember from that day.
I learned what true heroes looked like, and what true heroes did. There were stories of heroes on the planes that tried to take down the hijackers before they could do damage. There were stories of heroes that ran back into the buildings to save others, many of which lost their lives while doing so. There were pictures of firemen, police officers, first responders, and more digging through debris and rubble to save the lives they could.
I saw a nation come out of total shock to rally around not only the survivors, but also show support and strength to the family and friends of those that didn't make it. I saw a nation that didn't divide people up by race, economic status, region, etc. I saw a nation that stood together.
Like I said, there are some things from September 11, 2001 that I won't ever comprehend. The fact that someone could even think of doing something that awful to so many people...I just can't understand that. Why they would do that is far beyond me. But the things that I remember from that day will always stay with me, and I'm grateful for those memories.