A day that changed American history forever.
Terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Passengers on a third plane selflessly brought it down to keep it from its target.
9/11 was a day that has been seared into our memories and into our lives. We here at This Blue Dress thought we’d share what we remember.
Our 9/11 Memories
I was in 8th grade math class on 9/11. Someone turned on the TV and the news was showing the first hit. I was worried all day about my dad because he was doing a National Guard drill on the East Coast, and I thought he might be deployed.
The teachers and students walked around in a solemn daze all day. It felt similar to the day of the Columbine shootings. I just wanted to be with my family and give them a hug. I remember thinking the world would never be the same.
10. I was 10. I remember waiting in my 5th-grade classroom for an unusual amount of time for our teacher to come back in the room. I’ll never forget the look on her face as she came through the doorway. Wordlessly, she stood at the front of the room and everyone in the class fell into an uncomfortable silence.
Finally, my teacher explained how an airplane had flown into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I thought she was doing a dramatic intro for a social studies lesson. But then she turned the tv on, and I saw the tower engulfed in smoke. We watched in silence until we saw the footage of the second plane hitting the other tower. It was the most graphic and terrifying image I’d ever seen.
Some students began to cry. It didn’t feel real. I felt so confused.
As I walked to my bus to go home, I overheard other students talking about the irony of the date: 9/11. 911. It was then that my stomach began to hurt and everything I had witnessed started to sink in.
I cried a lot at home. I was so sad for all the victims. That night many of my siblings slept in the living room together because we struggled to feel peace. We didn’t want to be alone.
I was scared for a long time after that. I thought that the same thing would happen to my family in my town. When flights resumed again, I was scared that any airplane I saw would crash or drop a bomb.
I knew bad things happened. But THIS was too much for my young mind to wrap around. I couldn’t comprehend the hatred that had driven the attacks. I still can’t comprehend it to this day. I had survived a deadly disease in the spring of that same year, and even the thought of dying from a sickness didn’t make me feel the way that this event left me feeling. 9/11 was the first time I felt true terror.
I was in fifth grade. I don’t remember much of what happened on 9/11 because our teachers decided not to tell us until the end of the day. I remember sitting on the rug in the front of the classroom listening to my teacher tell us that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center buildings and that they had collapsed. I didn’t understand the gravity of what that meant.
My babysitter picked me up and took me to dance class. I was the only one there. My daddy picked me up from dance class and wrapped me in a huge hug. When we got home my mom was sitting on the couch in our TV room glued to the news. She was crying. I sat by her and watched reruns of the planes hitting the buildings and the buildings collapsing. It was absolutely horrifying.
I was 7 years old the day that nearly 3,000 people were killed by terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. 9/11. The day started like any other. My mom helped all of us get ready for school and told us she loved us as we clambered out of the car and walked to our different classrooms.
I walked into my second-grade room and said hi to my best friends. We blabbed about what we wanted to do at recess until my teacher came in to start our math lesson for the day. Before we even finished our lesson, a few of the other teachers from nearby classrooms rushed into the room.
They walked up to my teacher and whispered something in her ear. With fear in her eye, she explained we were going to do silent reading time early, so everyone needed to get out their books. While we all retrieved our books, she turned the TV on to the local news station.
All I can remember from those new channels are images of the trade center on fire. There was smoke coming out of the top of the building and panicked people saying a lot of words I didn’t understand.
Because of the reactions of our teacher, we knew that something really bad was happening. But it wasn’t until I talked with my parents later that day that I really understood what had happened earlier that morning.
And it wasn’t until a few years later, when my dad was deployed to Iraq for a year, that I really understood the sacrifice the events of that one day would cost so many people in our country. It is important to remember the heroes of that day who sacrificed so much to try and save others. We should honor them and those who have served since that day in the fight against terrorism.
I remember 9/11 as a little girl that didn’t understand. I was playing by our small box TV when I heard the news reporter talking about building burning and falling to the ground. I didn’t understand.
For years, we would stand in the hallway on 9/11 and have a minute of silence for those who died. Others would wiggle around or giggle, but I remembered the news story and stayed respectful.
I also remember the first year that our school didn’t remember. It felt wrong to go the whole day without talking about what happened. Without remembering.
Although 9/11 was tragic and devastating for our country and those individuals involved, I think it instilled in me a true sense of patriotism. It’s why I stand and honor our flag when others kneel. It’s why my heart swells when I hear our national anthem when for others it is just another song.
It’s why when others speak ill of our political leaders and their policies, I pray in gratitude that our nation is still free. The sacrifices of great women and men should always be remembered. Without them, this would not be the Home of the Free.
I was only 3 when 9/11 happened. I don’t remember anything from the actual date in 2001. I only remember what changed after. Airplane security has always been a hassle, but I appreciate the measure of safety we take now. It is no secret that there are people in the world who wish harm to others. I think my generation has always lived with this fact, and we’re discerning the lines between freedom, safety, and convenience.
All the Crouch sisters are very grateful for the service of so many that help keep this nation safe. And today we remember the sacrifice of thousands of lives in the attack on our country.
Where were you?
**To read more about courage and hope in difficult times: Remember September 11th in the Best Way Possible, Why the World Needs More Thoughts and Prayers, and Hope Through Stormy Days.