Experiencing Sept. 11 as a middle schooler

The ultimate goal of mothers and fathers is to always protect their children from danger, harm, pain and sadness. The thought of seeing their offspring endure any negative feelings just hurts them.

I remember being in the 7th grade and preparing to go to school the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. As usual, my dad was watching the morning news, and my mom was making my brother and I breakfast. As I hurried back and forth to find the right outfit, I could hear the news anchor in the background explaining that there was breaking news regarding the World Trade Center in New York City.

I did not know where the twin towers where or the significance it had on our country. However, I knew by the look on my mother’s face, and the sound in the anchor man’s voice that this was the sad, dangerous, harmful pain parents never want their children to endure.

After what felt like the longest day at school with teachers discussing the topic, moments of silence, and me, a confused teenager, I came home and turned on the television.

I realized that this event would change the course of our lives forever. Every channel on TV was covering the 9/11 attacks. I felt more lost than ever. I did not understand why two planes would hit such tall, beautiful buildings.

I first thought it was by accident. Quickly after, I noticed the anger, confusion, sadness and countless tears that led me to finally realize this was no accident. This was a pure act of terrorism. It took me a long time to grasp onto what happened that day.

I was a young girl who was oblivious to the location of the buildings. I was also gullible to think there were such heartless people in the world.

Just a few days later, I saw a young girl being interviewed on TV. The news anchor interviewing her was fighting tears back as the little girl explained to the world that she lost her best friend the morning of 9/11. Without hesitation, I broke into a puddle of tears.

The idea of killing, raping, abusing, torturing, hitting, hating and hurting anything or anyone will never make sense to me. Whenever I hear a story regarding those topics, I get very uncomfortable. I just don’t understand how people who come from the same world can do that to one another.

Maybe it is because my mom always taught me growing up that the Chinese girl sitting at the bus stop was my sister and so was the boy from Nepal at the bookstore. I was taught that we are all ONE. 

So, why are we killing our own kind? Just because we may not look the same on the outside, we all have the same hopes for our world. Don’t we?

While listening to the little girl explain how she lost her father, I thought about the pain parents try to protect children from. Though he didn’t mean to, her father left her with all these feelings of pain he probably never wanted her to feel. It was something I could not understand, how could she?

As 9/11 marks the calendar again, many people feel a sense of sadness wash over them. The same pain our parents hoped we’d never feel. Then there are people across the world who feel the same pain, some because it cost the lives of their children at war and others their homes.

Mother Teresa said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

It’s been 11 years since 9/11, and it feels as though our generation has seen nothing but war, crime, killing, rape, abuse and hate. I hope for all of us to witness genuine world peace in our lifetime.

After all, we’re all brothers and sisters.

My heart aches for the lives lost, families affected and all the pain our parents never wanted us to feel.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Daily 49er newsletter