Twelve Years

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It’s been 12 years. It’s hard to believe it it’s been that long, but I’m sure to those affected by it, and those who lost loved ones that day, it feels like it has been such a long time.

On September 11, 2001, I was in 6th grade at Deer ParK Middle Magnet School. When the second plane hit the towers at around 10:30, I was in third period, which I believe was either gym or band depending on if that day was an ‘A’ day or ‘B’ day. Anyway, I don’t remember because that’s not when students had found out what happened. After third period, I had lunch, then 4th period was my magnet class period, which was Theatre Arts (yes, I was a theatre arts magnet student for 3 years, and I was pretty good at it, I’ll talk about that some other time), and we went along as scheduled. We did notice, however, that our magnet teacher, Mrs. Buffaloe, was a little tense and uneasy after a teacher had come to the door to whisper something to her. Teachers didn’t want to tell the students what was going on, and that became more difficult when parents started coming to the school and kids were going to the office for early dismissal. Everyone wondered, why is everyone going home early? What is going on? At the time, we didn’t know or really care what was happening, as long as our names got called to go home.

My youngest brother was only a month old at that time, and my mother was actually taking him for his one-month check-up at the doctor, so she wasn’t aware of what happened. I remember my older brother and I got off the bus and got home and no one was there, so we waited about 20 minutes to find our mother rushing home. She told me that there was some kind of attack in New York and at the Pentagon, but she wasn’t quite sure what exactly had happened. We walked in those house, turned on the news, and instantly saw the footage of planes crashing into the towers and people screaming and yelling in chaos and fear. It was a very frightning scene, and it unsettled me for a while. Yes, I was only almost 11 years old, but I think I had a pretty good understanding that this was bad. Really bad. Over the next few weeks more details came to surface and suddenly, I had thoughts of “what if” and “how come” these planes were hijacked. Then we started hearing the words “terrorist attack” and “Al Qaeda” and “Muslim extremists” and things changed dramatically from there. Airport security became IMPOSSIBLE. All kinds of laws changed after that day. Muslims were never looked at the same way again. Any brown person from the Middle East, Eastern Europe, or Northern Africa automatically had potential to be dangerous. Heck, if you were a Black or Hispanic person who had hair dark enough or a beard long enough or even looked like you were in hijab, you were suspect.

So much has changed since then. We’ve had troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my older cousins has actually done a few tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. A few years ago, he got seriously hurt by an explosive and thankfully lived and made a full recovery. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his service. He recently returned from Afghanistan and is doing well. More recently, Osama bin Laden was captured and killed. That is one of the greater victories during President Obama’s term as president. But that’s not what I’m writing to remember. I’m not writing to talk about conspiracy theories about 9/11. I’m not writing to talk about the government and any hidden agendas that are believed to exist. I don’t know what exactly happened that day, and neither does anyone else who wasn’t on any of those planes that day. I just know a lot of people died that day. A lot of people are permanently injured. Many people have scars that will never heal, mental scars of loved ones taken from them too soon. And sadly, many people were never found. It’s so sad and unfortunate that this had to happen, for whatever reason it may be. This is my love. This is me remembering the fall heroes that day, from firefighters, police officers, pilots, doctors, first responders, airplane passengers, people who worked in the twin towers, people who were just visiting New York City that day…mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles…you are not forgotten.

God bless the families who still grieve and feel pain from the tragedy that happened 12 years ago. And God bless the United States. God bless the world. Peace will come, one day.

Take care everyone, thanks for reading.

tf

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