Thirteen years ago, I woke up just as I usually did… To my sister’s alarm. Emily has always been a deep sleeper and it was a miracle if she woke up on her own. Every day, I would listen to that annoying BEEP BEEP BEEP, I considered myself lucky if she just hit snooze. On September 11, 2001 she slept through her alarm. So I made my way through the Jack and Jill bathroom we shared and turned her alarm off. Well I thought I had. It switched to the radio and I could tell something was different. The announcer didn’t sound like her preppy self, but had more of a reverence to her. She had broke the news to me, the first tower had gone down. At that moment I had NO idea what was going on. I was eleven years old. I was in sixth grade, for heavens sake I had just gotten my first training bra, I had no idea what war or terrorism was. I ran downstairs to tell my mom who had just gotten back from running, she turned the television on and we watched. I continued getting ready for school and made it to Pierce Park to sit in Mrs. Hiesler’s class. That is where I learned the second tower had gone down. I still didn’t know what was going on. As I look back I feel bad for my teacher that day. We all had questions, and she didn’t really know how to answer them. I remember walking home from school that day, constantly looking over my head to check and see if a plane was coming towards me. Irrational I know, but I was terrified. The rest of the night I watched the news. I couldn’t wrap my mind around what was happening. Later the news broke that we, the United States were at war. I used my knowledge of war, I thought back to the episode of Boy Meets World when they flashed back to the Cold War. I wondered if I would be doing drills of diving under my desk at school just in case Idaho was attacked. I thought about World Ward II and the concentration camps I had recently visited while in Germany. I thought to myself, would we be put into those? I feel asleep that night dreaming of planes…crashing.
It has now been 13 years since that day and we are still fighting this battle. Almost half of my life has been lived during a war. This war hasn’t touched me physically, but I have seen it alter lives around me. I think about the people who were on those planes and in the buildings that died that day and pray for your families. My heart goes out to the police, fireman, and medical personal who died that day trying to save lives. I will forever be indebted to those who serve our country. I just want to thank you men and women who put your lives on the line so that my family can sleep soundly at night. I know what a blessing this is for me and a sacrifice it is for you and your families. I just want you to know I will never forget.