I never thought a single day in history would affect my generation as deeply as this one has. I was a 9 year old girl sitting in her grade five classroom when we were learning about different ways to travel out of the blue after our spelling test. I clearly remember my teacher expressing to us that “flying is the safest way to travel”. None of us knew what had happened moments before and our day had been going on as if it was any other day.
After lunch had happened one of the girls from my class had come back and told us all about a plane crashing into the side of a building in New York. I figured it was just an accident, and that the pilot must of made a mistake and underestimated how high he was. I thought the second crashing had to of been the same reason as well the Pentagon and Flight 93 crashing into a field. I had such a positive view of the world and I didn’t think people actually still attacked each other.
Our teacher explained to us what happened and I was so confused as to what was ACTUALLY happening. I was upset to learn that many people had died, that there were still a lot of people missing, and that some were seriously injured. I remember going home and counting 17 of the 28 channels that I had gone through were talking about the attacks. It was like a car accident that I couldn’t turn my head away from and that I didn’t really want to look at all in one. When my mom came home from work she didn’t know how to explain it to my brother and me and neither did my dad. We just kept our channel locked on the news and watched past our bedtimes.
I thought it was going to be one of those things where we forget it happened the next day, but the months of constant coverage showed me otherwise. I remember the delayed “thank you” to Canada on the bristol board and George Bush announcing war on Iraq – a country that I previously had no idea existed. The names of what our generation associates evil with started to become known to me shortly as well as Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. I remember Canadian soldiers being sent overseas to Afghanistan. It’s the closest thing this generation has experienced to war and it’s something I don’t think any of us can forget.
I think we also need to take a moment to think of the positives that happened on this day. There were emergency workers who entered a scene they no doubt had never seen before. There were strangers who helped other strangers escape buildings. There were a group of people on a flight who saved possibly thousands of lives by crashing it into a field. To every volunteer who entered a building, or welcomed a family who had lost someone a place of comfort for the night. There were so many who looked beyond themselves and made a difference in the world that day.
I hope we never have such a horrible event happen again, and I hope we always remember what happened. Lest we Forget…our thoughts are still with you America.