There are many significant events in our history that my generation can read about in textbooks but not have any personal memories about. However the events of September 11, 2001 are forever ingrained in our minds.
Most young adults my age were in the 5th grade on the day of the attacks. Depending on the where in the country one was living at the time, the news and reactions to the events were handled differently.
Peter Young, a senior at the University of Tampa lives in Bethesda, Maryland, which is about 20 minutes away from The White House. Due to his close proximity to the District of Columbia, his school reacted to the events with the utmost importance and security.
He remembers the exact place and time he was when he heard the news of the attacks. Young said, “I was sitting in art class and my teacher stopped the class to turn on the television right after the planes hit. We watched for a little bit and saw the live footage of the towers crashing down.”
An announcement that something tragic happened to the country was made over the loud speaker and his school was dismissed within 20 minutes. Since Peter was so close to D.C., he said “a lot of kids were really worried about their parents because they heard another plane could be headed toward their area.”
Although students understood that something terrible had happened, in 5th grade it can sometimes be difficult to realize fully what is going on. Peter’s mother picked him and some of his friends up from school, whose parents were not able to get out of D.C. immediately in time to get to the school.
They all went home and watched the live news for the rest of the day and had Peter’s mother explain to them what had happened to their country. Despite 5th graders not completely understanding the bigger picture of what happened on September 11th, it is still a day that many remember where and when they were, regardless of age.
Our country entered one its longest wars because of the events on that tragic day. It is also one of the first historic moments in history that our generation can personally remember. That day can always play over and over in the minds of millions of Americans.