Fifteen Years Ago…


Perhaps its a little cliche, but I decided to add my own remembrance of 9/11 to the World Wide Web.

On this day fifteen years ago, I was a senior at Hannibal LaGrange College in Hannibal, Missouri. I was fast asleep in my dorm room when my roommate Mike urgently woke me up. Still groggy, I was trying to make sense of what he was saying. Planes? World Trade Center? Why was he waking me up for this? He had the television on, and I staggered out of bed just in time to watch the second of the smoking Towers collapse live on television. My first thought was that this was like some sort of Tom Clancy movie-it couldn’t actually be happening.

Strangely, the rest of my day went on almost as if nothing horrific had happened. In my insulated world of small college campus life, people were talking about the events of the day, and every TV was tuned to one news program or another, but life continued uninterrupted. I didn’t know anyone in New York or Washington D.C., so the tragedy seemed remote and unreal.

However, as the years have gone by, and more and more stories and photographs continue to surface, the horrors of 9/11 have had a belated effect on me. Now at fifteen years distant, I have a hard time looking at pictures or watching the news footage of that day without my heart breaking.

I know for the younger generations, 9/11 seems as distant to them as Pearl Harbor or the Kennedy assassination is to my generation. That is why we must continue to keep the memories of that day alive, as painful as that may be. Children need to know what happened on that day and how we as a people dealt with the aftermath, because some day-sadly-they will have their own tragedy that defines their generation and they will look to history, and to us, for guidance.

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