I'm taking a seat next to my friend Jess in history class. We talk about everything and anything while my teacher gets ready for the lesson. I'm on the verge of getting my first part-time job. Unknown to me then, I will soon start dating my sister's friend, I will fail that history class, and the world is a safe and secure place. We have learned in history class that wars and conflicts have been laid to rest for over a decade. Nothing could prepare me for the news that we were soon about to hear.
Our teacher excuses himself for few minutes and returns with a TV set. Smartphones and Social Networks did not exist yet, and news was slow to reach us. He finally returns, turns on the television and tells us, in a tone I will always remember that the United States of America was under attack. Sadness, incomprehension. Something tore away at him. He plugged the television and turned the rolling tower, with the TV perched on top, towards the class and showed us the images of the first tower burning.
I didn't know what terrorrism was. I never heard of Twin Towers or the World Trade Center. The images frightened me. We couldn't speak, I barely heard a gasp, a breath, a yawn. All of our eyes were glued to the screen and that's when the second plane hit the south tower. People began crying. Out of fear? Possibly; we didn't know what was going on. Teachers were called for a special meeting and our history prof left us with the images of a dark and gloomy New-York City.
When he returned, he shut off the television and told us the teachers were instructed not to show us any more images and procede with class.
At break, the hallways were buzzing with the latest news. My friend Liane informed me that they had evacuated Parliament Hill and all surrounding government buildings, fearing a Canadian attack. I remember being so confused about what was going on. Surely this was not happening, not now, not here.
We were not allowed to leave the school until the end of the day at which point nobody wanted to hang or chill at the park. We all rushed home to see what had unfolded since the morning. What else happened in the world?
I got home, all my family was in the living room, their eyes fixed on the news report from CNN. The pentagon had been struck and a yet unrelated plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. President Bush was adressing the people. This was all so surreal.
When I went to bed that night I remember thinking: what will tomorrow bring? All these new words associated with fear had sprung up during the day: Terrorrism, Al-Qaeda, WoMD, Retalliation, War. War?
I manage to fall asleep thinking the world will never be the same again. And it isn't.
It's been ten years since that tragic day. Ten long years have passed since Osama Bin Laden's terrorist attack on American soil. The war is still going and some would even question whether is has anything to do with "retalliation". Conspiracies have sprung up here and there, some going as far as accusing President Bush of orchastrating the entire attack.
Osama Bin Laden is dead, or so they say. New-York has managed to clean up what we have come to know as Ground Zero. We've come a long way, but we still have miles to go. This day reminds me of the time I first feared something. It reminds me that the world is a very fucked up place.
3,051 children lost a parent
2,819 lives were taken
1,609 lost a partner
1 day changed the world
I was 15 years old and expecting a regular, normal history lesson.
Where were you?
Candles burn in memory of everyone affected by terrorism.