1. Where I Was
I was 12 years old when the attacks happened. I was in my 7th grade science class, taught by my favorite teacher to this day, Mrs. Anderson. I was about to take a test on Cells when the social studies teacher came in and told my teacher what had happened. A girl in our grade had just gotten to school that day from going to the dentist or something (isn't it crazy how you remember such specific things?) and she had informed the social studies teacher. I had no idea what the World Trade Center was, never heard of the Twin Towers. After the test, we turned on the TV and watched it for the rest of class. For the rest of the day, we didn't do anything in any class, and just went from room to room watching the televisions. Some kids parents even picked them up from school.
At 12 years old, I honestly don't think I fully understood what had happened. Not yet at least. I understood that these people called "Terrorists" had flown into the buildings, killing thousands of people. But it just bewildered me that something like this was even happening. At that point in my life, this didn't happen to us in real life. It was the kind of thing you read about and learn about in history classes. But it was real and it was happening.
I became obsessed with watching the news. Seeing the videos over and over again of the planes flying in to the buildings blew my 12 year old mind. That was my first time seeing unadulterated, real life destruction. Not a natural disaster tearing up a town, but humans doing this to other humans. I video taped all the footage from that night and the subsequent days after. I haven't watched them sense, I don't believe, but to me at the time, it was important to keep them.
Flags everywhere, bumper stickers, anywhere you could stick a flag, it was stuck. Now at 21 and being a Marine Corps fiancee, I still have my share of patriotic items, but such is not the case with the general public. The flags on cars have been replaced by sports teams. But for a period of time after the attacks, there was a definite sense of banning together and being an indestructible nation again.
This might be one not-typical thing to remember, but I remember everyone talking about the "faces in the smoke". Weird images of demons or God knows what "appeared" in the smoke coming from the buildings. At 12 years old, that's pretty freaking scary. lol