Growing Up After 9/11
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I will never forget that day. Even though I was only seven years old and in the first grade, I still remember September 11th, 2001 like it was yesterday. As tiny first graders, we were doing “math time” like every other Tuesday of the year. One thing was different this Tuesday though… every few minutes the Secretary would come over the intercom into our classroom to call another student to the office, for they were getting signed our early one student at a time. I had no idea why so many of my friends were getting signed out of school early. All of sudden, the secretary came back on and called my name. I remember walking to the office curious as to why I was now getting signed out early. My mom had only dropped me off to school around an hour prior. I remember walking in the school office and seeing my mother standing at the counter crying, the secretary was also crying, and they had the TV on. I couldn’t read at the time, but I recall seeing a building on fire on the TV. When driving home I asked my mother what was wrong and she proceeded to tell me that we were going home to be safe from some bad people… that once we got home we would be safe and not to worry. After finally getting home, my mother and I sat on the couch as we watched the news. She explained to me that some very bad people had flown airplanes into the buildings I was watching on my screen. I remember seeing them collapse live, I remember seeing the pentagon being attacked live, and I remember going upstairs to my room and grabbing my stuffed animals. I returned back downstairs and I told my mother that if I was going to die, I wanted to die with my stuffed animals.

As a young kid, I was a little worried that something might happen to us, but I wasn’t all that scared as a whole because this was something I was watching on TV, not in person. Now that I look back on it 15 years later, I fully realize how traumatizing that day was for me as a young child. Even though my parents nor myself knew of the long term effects that day would have on me and children my age, but looking back I truly see what an impact it made. I was exposed to terrorism on American soil at such a young age. I grew up watching the 9/11 attacks on live TV, watching the IRAQ war on live TV, watching shooting after shooting on live TV. Ever since 9/11, my generation has grown up with terrorist attacks all around us almost as though it is the new normal. My generation has grown numb to terrorism because it is so prevalent now. I hope and I pray that my children will not grow up in a country where Terrorism is so common as it has been for me growing up.

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