Today marks 10 years. Ten years ago today was Tuesday. A perfectly normal Tuesday, just like any other. I was in seventh grade, I went to North Port High School, we didn't have the middle school built yet. My grandma was scheduled to come home from the nursing home that day, she had been in a car accident and was there for care while she got better and healed her broken bones.
I got to school as usual, in a perfectly ordinary way, it was 7am. As I walked through the crowded balcony to get to my math class I overheard a boy behind me say "the twin towers are going down today", I had no idea what that meant but I had a flashback to a TV show I had watched as a child that mentioned them, the show was hosted by a Popsicle stick named Stick Stickly. Stick Stickly was looking for a long lost twin brother and decided to look at the Twin Towers, and that was really all I knew about them. That, and that they had something to do with stocks, and were in New York City where my uncle lives. I thought about what had just happened for a moment and considered asking my teacher what it meant when stocks went down but the thought was lost in the bustle of the morning.
I was sitting in class when, after the first plane had hit, the announcement was made for all teachers to turn their TVs to the news channel, we didn't have one in Mr. Brislin's math room so we all shuffled next door to Mrs. Sepeare's english class. We sat on the floor, horrified faces all around the room as we watched the obscene events played out on the TV.
Just after 9am we watched the second plane hit, the scene then changed from what looked like a horrible accident to the biggest attack on our nation since Pearl Harbor in 1941. They played and replayed the images as the newscasters' voices droned on in the background, just as panicked, horrified and confused as the rest of the nation.
A little after 9:30 a third plane crashed into the Pentagon. A call came, I was told to gather my things and go down to the front office, my dad was there to pick me up. I felt awful, sick to my stomach yet at the same time nothing more than going through the motions, I hurried down the hall wondering what news I would receive when I got to the office, was my uncle okay? I was scared. Daddy told me that he hadn't heard anything and that we were going home. We later found out that my uncle hadn't even known the terrible events had taken place.
We listened to the radio as they detailed the events of the morning, they went on to say that a fourth plane had been hijacked and we listened as they told of the Pennsylvania field crash. We got home and turned on the TV there, watching as they replayed the horrors of the morning and talked about what was being done, and what was to be done about it. Two-Thousand, nine-hundred ninety-six people died that day.
The hijackers learned how to fly at the Venice airport, as a kid I lived right up the road from there, I had ridden past it in the car hundreds of times. One of my best friends, Jenna, lived next door to them, her brother met them, he said they were nice.
As I sit here typing this 10yrs later, remembering and re-living that day, I can't help wondering how it is that there are people out there, Americans (or so they claim), who insist on not supporting our troops. Those troops out there are my friends and their siblings, my classmates, people I grew up with. They're out there doing their jobs to make sure all of us here at home can continue living our lives as we do, without fear of re-living that Tuesday morning in a much more real sense. To them I say Thank You. America is a free country, serving in the armed forces is a choice, my friends didn't get drafted, my classmates weren't government regulated into service, they chose. It is because of their choice that it remains a choice.
For those who consider themselves 'Americans' yet don't feel the need to support those who keep us free, get out. If you feel that the job they are doing is inferior, get out. If you feel it is unnecessary, click on the links I've posted in this page, if that doesn't change your mind, get out. There are planes leaving this country every day. Planes, just like the ones the terrorists used as weapons against us ten years ago.
I'm sure countless others have stories similar to mine, but I felt the need to share.