Where Were You?

Yesterday marked 15 years since September 11, 2001. It is hard to believe so much time has passed since that occasion. It is one of those days that we can remember exactly what we were doing. I wanted to write about my experience as a 10 year old in 5th grade.

I woke up and grabbed a bowl of cereal and headed to my parents room to sit and watch whatever was on TV. My mom had the news on and I saw a plane flying into a building. Honestly I thought it was a preview for a movie. I went to school and realized something had happened. I did not really understand it at all, but some teachers at school were just watching the news all day. I remember seeing people run down streets in tears and debris envelop the city. At recess I was introduced to Hitler for the first time. Kids were talking about his disregard for life. All of the sudden bad people existed in the world and bad things happened. All the while I did not really understand what was going on, I kept looking at the sky wondering what building in Idaho a plane would crash into. I felt better by thinking it would probably not be my house, but honestly I wasn’t 100% sure about that.

And so the day continued, and more images filled my mind, sadness, heartbreak, fear, patriotism, hope, community. Then nighttime came. Nighttime as a child always brought a bit of anxiety for me, but that night was especially hard. My mom was aware of me and suggested my father come and give me a priesthood blessing, which he did. I felt better after the blessing. Today I still feel thankful to my mother, who recognized a need and my father who was ready and worthy to bless me.

The following days and weeks as a world we were mourning with those that mourn and comforting those that stood in need of comfort. Through our actions it felt like we were reaching out across the US to stand together. It was cool to see pictures of streets in America flooded with American flags.

Today we echo year after year “Never Forget.” I wonder what does that mean to each of us? What does it prompt us to do?

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