It was another morning where I had to get ready for school. I'd been in the 6th grade for about a week. Like most mornings, I got up and wandered into my mom's room. We listened to the radio together, which was part of our normal routine. She got up to let the dog out, while I continued to hear the news.
But it was a particular piece of breaking news that caught my attention. A plane crash in New York City? How did that happen? I got up and turned on the television, which was showing the North tower smoking from near the top.
I'd always been fascinated with flight, so the advent of a plane crash in a major city was crazy. So I kept watching, hoping they would explain what was going on. Mom wandered downstairs, mostly to inquire what I wanted for breakfast. I was completely enthralled with the news, unable to keep my eyes away. She sat next to me and we watched what was going on. Our dog started to bark, so she jogged upstairs to let him in. It was then that the second plane crashed into the south tower on live television.
The idea that a jet liner full of people would just randomly crash into a skyscraper was preposterous. This wasn't just a crazy incident of wrong navigation or the plane losing control. Something was wrong.
Images continued to flash of people rushing away from the buildings while the first responders streamed towards the disaster. Everyone kept their eyes upward.
We moved upstairs to the living room television. My mom couldn't believe what was happening, and I was just as unsure this was all real.
The image I remember most about that morning, was seeing close-ups of the towers. People waving out the windows with shirts or whatever they could. There were people so desperate to not burn alive that they were willing to leap from those windows, having accepted their fate. It's a bitter calm to see those images, those videos taken of the victims that perished long before the buildings collapsed. They knew after leaving that building that it was over, yet there must have been a sense of freedom, and relief that they were going under their own terms; even if overall this was caused by a different force.
The one thing this country can unite about, is to never forget.