I was sitting on the bus riding to school on Ramsey Road outside the neighborhood where they kept the old folks. I was wearing a pink and purple tie dye shirt and a pair of blue jeans. My hair was dirty blonde and cut jaw length in a bob.
My friend Samantha was seated across from me. The bus wasn't that full yet because we were the first stop, so we could speak freely without having to yell.
"Did you know that they were flying planes into the Twin Towers?" she asked to all who were within hearing distance. I had no idea what the Twin Towers were. I was only 11 years old, just turned 11 actually 11 days before. Or maybe 12 days depending on how you look at it.
It sounded crazy, fascinating, and scary all at the same time. At first I didn't believe her, but I had no idea what was going on. The news hadn't been on at my house that morning before I left for school. I dismissed the question as so many others on the bus had also done.
I went through the first half hour before school started in middle schooler ignorant bliss. I talked with my friends, I made jokes, I retrieved my books from my locker for our Advisory period.
My desk was in the first row on the left side of the classroom. Two desks were behind me, and TJ Barns was sitting in front of me. Our teacher, Mr. Bain, was sitting at his desk in the front of the classroom. The bell had just rang signalling the start of the period, but we were still chattering.
The air shifted when our science teacher, a red headed woman with a small frame and a spunky personality entered the room. She wasn't jovial. She wasn't smiling. She wasn't talking. Silently and somberly she walked passed my desk, passed TJ's desk, and to the front left corner of the classroom where the TV was shut away behind a cabinet door.
She pulled it out, turned it on, and started talking. I don't remember what she said, I don't remember what she was wearing (I think there was a green shirt?), I don't remember what other students were doing, but I remember the images on the screen. I remember the terror of watching people die on the news. I remember the black smoke.
I remember that feeling you get when there is a tragedy, that feeling of excitement and fascination that is coupled with fear and anxiety.
I don't know anyone who died in the 9/11 tragedy, and I can't tell you names of any of my friends who did either. Here in Idaho I felt pretty far removed, but I know we weren't. I know everyone knows someone who was affected by the ill fated events of that September morning.
What I also remember though, is the coming together of a community. The love that was poured out for all those lost and all those who lost loved ones. I remember feeling glad to still have all my family. I remember when we started to forget. And now it's like we don't remember at all except for when the anniversary is here.
But as they say, time heals all wounds.
Where were you?