“Where were you when the world stopped turning?” Alan Jackson’s sullen song lyrics regarding the multiple terrorist attacks that bombarded our country on September 11th, 2001 always makes me think of where I was on that horrific day.
I was a tiny fourth grader; naive and full of certainty that the world we lived in was one of good and not evil. Little did I know, on that day, evil had prevailed. I was leaving the science lab with the rest of my class and it was time for recess, which had me raring to play four-square in the still-warm autumn air. However, that plan was ruined when one of our librarians told us we would be staying inside for recess. When I asked her "why" she responded, “We don’t want you to get sun burnt.” Sun burnt? I thought to myself curiously. I had stopped slathering on sun tan lotion last month and all of my bathing suits had been tucked in the bottom drawer of my dresser. She was lying. It wasn’t until my mom picked me up from school that day and I saw big, wet tears in her eyes that I knew why we had stayed inside.
I’m randomly reminded of September 11th throughout the years. Going through the never-ending security lines at the airport, seeing an American flag swaying in the wind outside of someone’s home, and last night, when I was flipping through the channels and landed on the movie, United 93, which portrays the story of the passengers on the one flight hijacked that day that didn’t hit it’s target simply because of their bravery. I tried putting myself in their position; imagining myself on just another flight, reading a magazine or taking a nap, and five minutes later, having to call my family and say my last goodbye. It was almost too much to even conceptualize.
A group of passengers on the flight developed a plan to take the terrorists down. Their bravery, courage, and loyalty to our country was palpable through the screen. The group successfully got to the cockpit where one passenger, who had previously been a pilot, attempted to lift the plane up, as it had been nose-diving to the ground. Devastatingly they weren’t successful and there were no survivors. The one positive that can be taken away from flight United 93 is that those brave passengers prevented the hi-jackers from hitting the White House.
Now it’s your turn: “Where were you when the world stopped turning?”
Reflect, recall, and always, remember.