Fifteen Years Ago
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Fifteen Years Ago

A young millennial's memories of 9/11.

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Fifteen Years Ago
Business Insider

It was a typical Tuesday morning, a week into 3rd grade. Being that I went to a small Christian school, my 3rd grade class was also the 4th grade class. I would spend much of my time with a group of 4th grade girls that year, because there were only 4 girls in my 3rd grade class.

The day was particularly beautiful. The sky was spectacularly blue. Autumn had not really started, so the leaves on the trees were full green. In fact, if I would assign a color to that day, I would only see it in shades of blues, greens and yellows. Yellow belonging to the school bus and the sun that day. It was not a unseasonably warm or cool day. In fact to my memory, this Tuesday was perhaps one of the most normal days I could have imagined. My teachers went about their teaching, and the day went on as typically as possible. The weather was out of the opening shot of a movie. There was a haze of normality that led to the end of the school day.

My classmate's, Charlie, mom came to pick him up. In tow was his older brother, whose name escapes me, but I think it was Aaron or Alex. He reminded me of Randall from Recess as a kid, with a crop of red hair and a glint of mischief in his eye. The "A" named brother had graduated fifth grade the year before (my school was a K-5 school at the time) so was in public school. Due to the Ann Arbor bussing system, public school kids got out after us, so I knew it was odd that the "A" named brother was with his mom to pick up his brother.

"What are you doing out of school?" I asked.

He scoffed in the way older children do to younger when they want to seem so much more sophisticated and knowledgeable. "Someone knocked down the Twin Towers."

I vaguely recalled hearing those words and knowing they were in New York. But I had no sense of fear. I got on the bus and headed home for the day.

The moment I knew the world had changed was when I got off the bus. I ran down the driveway to our back door, which was usually unlocked. At the time when you opened the door, you could see the TV first thing.

I stood in the doorway, watching my mom watch tv. I watched the program for a second, thinking it was a movie. My brain in 2016 tells me for some reason that I thought it was a spy movie. And I watched a plane slam into a building while a commentator spoke in a timid voice. Then the footage didn't stop.

Even then, I had enough of a rudimentary understanding of movies to know that movies had cuts. And if this was a movie, they would have cut away by now, showing reactions in the street or the hero who would save the day.

But there was no lone man to save us. There was nothing but smoke, and creaking I-beams, and fire, and darkness. And that's when I realized it was real. It was very very real. The world had changed. This was the new world.

This was September 11, 2001.

Where were you on that typical Tuesday?

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