Posts Tagged ‘DC’

ten years

Ten years ago I was a high school senior, expecting just another Tuesday morning full of flute music and Spanish vocabulary words and quips exchanged in the hallway with my friends.

Ten years ago I was four days away from turning 18, and I’ve always attached significance to the fact that my country and I, in a sense, lost our innocence at the same time.

Ten years ago I found out someone had attacked my country on my way to my second-period Spanish class, and I knew – in a way I have known few things in my life – that my world would never be the same.

Ten years ago I spent my school day, and part of my evening, watching news coverage, shocked and stunned, though I realized my grief was far less than the grief of New Yorkers, or residents of Washington, D.C., or anyone who lost someone in the attacks that day.

Ten years ago I watched my teachers and school counselors, their eyes full of worry and compassion, try to grasp what had happened so they could explain it to classrooms full of teenagers, who couldn’t quite grasp it either.

Ten years ago I went to Tuesday night Bible study (because I desperately wanted to be with my friends, and to do something “normal” after such an abnormal day), and sat in a darkened room next to my friend Adam, and held his hand as the worship band sang and we both prayed.

Ten years ago I decided to go ahead and have my 18th birthday party, because life is still precious and friends are still wonderful and birthdays, however marked and shadowed by national grief, are still worth celebrating.

Ten years ago this November, I traveled to D.C. as part of a student diplomacy organization, representing the U.S. at our annual mock conference, and received a tour of the Pentagon from an Air Force brigadier general. And I stood outside, near piles of rubble and yellow Caution tape, and looked at the twinkling Christmas tree someone had put on the roof, right next to the gap where the plane had hit. And I heard that general’s deep voice urging me – urging us all – to live.

And today I light a candle, and remember.

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