Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where Were You?

Ten years ago today, a nine year old boy woke up anticipating a rather dull day of school and dentist visits. Intent on not letting the day be a total waste, he decided to get some fresh air and play around outside before the trip to the dentist and subsequent school day. To his disappointment, he found the weather to be cloudy and dreary. Still, he made the most of it playing with his favorite toy. A stick.

Then came the dreadful moment when his mother called him inside. He assumed that it was time for them to leave for the dentist and that his fun for the day had ended. He was actually a little relieved to discover that it was not time to leave but that his mom felt it was important for him to see something.

He looked at the TV and saw two buildings draped in smoke. He didn't understand. His mom had called him inside to watch an action movie? "Terrorists captured planes and flew them into two buildings in New York." His mother explained. A sinking feeling came over the boy, as if someone were dragging him into the floor.

For the rest of the day, the boy was glued to the TV set. He heard the news anchors speculate over who was responsible. He saw a picture of a man they called Osama bin Laden. He heard words like "Afghanistan" and "jihad" and "Islam" for the very first time. When he heard the news of the Pentagon being attacked he felt as though the world was spinning out of control. He wished that someone would pay for all this.

He still had to go to the dentist, but he spent every moment thinking about burning buildings in New York. By the time he got home, those buildings had collapsed. They never did get around to doing school.

He spent the rest of the day with his neighbor friends, trying to make sense of the whole thing. That night went to bed but he couldn't sleep. It was a while before he was able to sleep.


So, where were you ten years ago?


  1. At my house in Greensburg when a lady called my wife telling her a plane had just hit the Twin Towers. At that point we thought it was an accident. Donna and this lady had been in the Twin Towers a few years earlier.

  2. I had *just* gotten out of bed when the second tower was struck, and it fell not long after...I don't remember anything from the rest of that day though...

  3. Coming in from morning chores to find everyone staring at the TV (which was odd because the TV was never on). I ate toasted French bread for breakfast while watching the towers collapse.