A look back at 9/11/2001

I was sitting in my chair fidgeting around, trying to get comfortable. Why didn't I understand these stupid fractions? Why couldn't I get it? I glance up and around the classroom to see if anyone else was having an issue like me. Mmm nope. I saw Mrs. H walk by and comment on C's hair accessory piece. It was a blonde curly bun ponytail holder. (you know, those hairpieces we ALL wore when we were 11). I let out a little giggle and looked back down at my paper. Ugh why couldn't my dad be sitting here helping me with this math. Instead, he was at work.

Our principle came over the intercom and asked all teachers to turn the t.v's onto Channel 1 news(Where are my Channel 1 news peeps out there?!! WHOOP!)
Looking puzzled Mrs. H turned it on and the first thing I remember seeing was a helicopter and then the sight of a plane. But I couldn't make much out of it. My teacher turned off the t.v and sat down at her desk. We each just kind of looked at each other stayed silent.
I looked down at my lap and saw eraser shavings in my lap. Stupid math. I brushed the shavings off of my green shorts.

Intercom comes back on and next thing I know we are being escorted to the gym.
Once the whole school was in there 6th-8th grade...all 350 of us.. Mr. Greene (the BEST principle in the entire world) proceeded to tell us what had happened that morning.
A plane hit a World Trade Center.( At this point in time, I do not think he/we knew about the 2nd tower yet)

Did I understand at first? No.
Did I know that within hours, days, weeks,months, years, that my life would be changed? No.
Once again, did I understand? No.
What I did understand was that I was hungry. My bottom hurt from sitting on the bleachers in the gym all.day.long.

We loaded up onto the bus to head home that afternoon(Finally) and once my bus arrived at the front gate of Whiteman Air Force Base (home of the B-2 Stealth Bombers!) we sat forever just waiting.
Waiting for what? Well I didn't know.
Next thing I know we are being rushed off of the bus (Out of the back exit) and policeman and investigators and bomb dogs were overtaking my bus. Fear instantly took over my entire life. What was going on? Where was my dad? Where was my sister? Where was my mom?
I then heard a 8th grade boy talking about the planes. Wait...planes? I thought Mr. Greene said PLANE. Why would a bomb dog be searching MY school bus here in Missouri when the plane hit a building in New York?

My little mind was confused.
The tears are flowing a steady stream by this point.
2 older girls started making fun of me. I wanted to punch their lights out.
Always being ugly to me. Whatever.

We finally are enroute to our drop offs.
I get off that bus as quickly as my legs would let me go.
I see mom..I can tell she has been crying.
I see Ms. Stacey..she is crying.

What is going on?

Mom takes me inside and sits me down. She explains the terrorist attacks. I see the images on t.v. It was hard for my 11 year old mind to comprehend. But I knew that this was huge. This was tragic. This would change America, forever.

The sun goes down.

My dad still isn't home.

I sit out on the sidewalk with Chelsea (my bff across the street) and we talk about the events that had taken place that day. The conversation moved onto our dads. whoa. I wasn't ready for this. My dad would be leaving if we went to war. My dad would be leaving.
My whole entire life, I felt like being on base was the safest thing ever. Nothing had ever  brought turmoil to my life. I always felt safe.

I remember when it was Declared America going to war. I remember hearing cheers, and I remember all the tears.

I remember sitting there watching the coverage of the first hours of the Iraqi War and seeing that B-2 Stealth Bomber drop the first bombs on Iraq.

We will be reading about this in textbooks in the future.
The morning my dad left came all too soon.
I remember him coming into my room and sitting on the bottom bunk where I was sleeping. He gave me an Air Force teddy bear and told me to mind my momma and to help her out; to take care of my sister and to be nice to her. He then hugged me tightly and kissed me goodbye. Then he stood up to the top bunk (Mikayla never slept in her own room) and told my sister good bye.
I remember laying in my bed for hours and listening to my mom cry for what seemed like forever.
I didn't know what to do.

My freshman year of highschool (2004-2005) my dad left again to Baghdad Iraq. This was a tough one. I remember arguing with my Freshman history teacher, Ms. Betty Reed. She told me and the class that our troops in Iraq were lazy, sitting on their butts and not doing a thing. I said a few choice words and then she escorted me 3 feet down the hall to the principles office. Once word got to him what Ms. Betty Reed had said, I was dismissed to go back to class. That night was a night I got to talk to my dad. I told him what was said. An hour later I had pictures emailed to my mom(from my dad). I printed them off and marched into her classroom as proud as could be the next day. I then passed the pictures around and after the class seeing them, I showed Ms. Betty Reed. I think it shocked her to see 1st hand pictures of a Green Zone bombing, or of the bodies that were in the distance lying on the ground. I got respect from her from then on out.

Today many lives are still being changed, many lives are still be effected and many hearts are still aching. September 11 is a day that changed life for everyone. Anytime I see a low flying plane..a wave of panic comes over me. Anytime I board that plane and sit down, my mind races. I still have fear. I still wonder. I know I am not the only one that is this way.

Whether you have ever agreed with the war or not, our troops are and have been over there defending our freedom. Protecting us. Not only have they made a sacrifice, but so have their families.

Watching your dad or your mother get in that vehicle or that plane to go to war is not a feeling I would wish on anyone. But I am thankful. I am thankful for a father is has made that selfless act many times. Starting with Desert Storm. I am thankful for the men and women who have made that selfless act.

9/11 will always weigh on my heart. I pray for the families who lost loved ones daily. I really do. And today, you weigh heavy on my heart. My thoughts are with you. My prayers are with you.

Friends, whether we have the same political views or not, whether we are a different race, sex, etc.. today put that aside and join together as ONE. As a Nation. Today is a day that strangers held hands and held one another while they cried, today is a day that lives were lost, Today is a day that many lives have been lost for, Heros were made today.

God Bless America
9/11 We will always remember, never forget.

1 comment:

  1. We are so blessed to have men and women who are willing to fight for our freedom. I am so proud to know a military kid! Thank your daddy for us all. Who would've ever thought that that Tuesday morning would change history...
    Xo, Bethany