Where Were You On 9/11?

Where Were You On 9/11?

A remembrance of 9/11 through the eyes of three generations.
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Fifteen years have gone by, and for most people, the images are still etched into their brains. September 11, 2001 was a day that severely changed our country. A sense of trust was lost and measures were taken to prevent something like this from happening again.

One photo that has been shared throughout social media exposes the fact that the current high school freshmen class were not even born yet when 9/11 happened. They will be learning about it as a historical event rather than something they experienced.

On that day, I was three years old, so I did not have the mental capacity to comprehend what was going on and why my mother was glued to the television. I just barely remember that day because I was so young. In fact, all I clearly remember was the noise. I grew up in a neighborhood directly behind Joint Base Cape Cod. At the time, this was an active Air Force base, meaning that jets were taking off left and right to go help in New York City. I remember my house shaking because there were so many jets taking off, and they were louder than anything my little ears could handle. The noise did not end there. Those jets sparked the cries from my then 18-month-old baby brothers. That is all I remember from that day, and I have been trying to piece together small memories because I do not want to forget. I decided the best way to do this was to talk to my family. I figured I would get a better idea of how the events impacted my family by talking to three different generations: my sister, my mom and my grandmother.

My sister:

My older sister was in fourth grade on 9/11 and remembers every move she made that day. She recalled the noise as well because the jets from the Cape were the first responders. She remembered how many of her peers were dismissed from school to be home with their parents, and she can even name each kid in her class who was dismissed. This was 15 years ago and these small details have yet to disappear.

The teachers did not disclose to the students what was transpiring, but it was clear to even the youngest children that something was wrong. Her teacher was a nun from New Jersey, and she was visibly upset. The students later found out that her Convent in New Jersey overlooked the New York City skyline.

My sister recalls walking home with three of her friends and hearing that the president was safe on a neighbor’s radio. At that moment she knew something was wrong. When she turned onto our road, my mother was out front with our neighbors, and my brothers were in the baby pen. Everyone was outside just talking about what had happened. That night my mother made my sister do her homework in the kitchen while she watched the news. The magnitude of this event still did not register with my sister until she got to school the next day. Her teacher gave the class a speech on love and kindness and ended up in tears. It was at that moment that the 10-year-old began to comprehend the catastrophe that had just struck our country.

My mother:

The morning of September 11, my mother was home with me and my brothers. My twin brothers were 18 months old at the time, but they had been born three and a half months early, meaning they had an early intervention nurse who came to our house. They were proceeding with their appointment when the noise of the jets shook the house. My mother nor the nurse knew what was happening until my father called. He told them to put on the news right away, and that a plane had just hit one of the Twin Towers in New York. They were glued to the television for three consecutive hours and watched as the second tower was hit. The nurse's husband called her to tell her that he had been evacuated from the federal building in Boston. My mom recalls thinking that that moment was the start of World War three.

My grandmother:

My grandparents were enjoying their morning coffee as they listened to the news on their radio. They lived in Plymouth at the time, and did not hear the same commotion my home did. They still heard jets, but not in the same magnitude that the Cape did. As they listened to the news they heard someone announce that the first tower had been hit. They immediately rushed to the television and turned it on just in time to see the second tower hit. This was an image that they would never get out of their minds.

Later that day they went down to the Plymouth waterfront to take a walk and get some air. This is an area that is generally populated with pedestrians and you can almost never find a parking space. At that moment, it was eerily quiet. They saw a large cruise ship loading passengers into smaller boats to bring them ashore because all ships were ordered to seek refuge in a safe harbor and all flights were redirected to the closest airports.


From talking to my family about this, I was able to piece together what happened that day and how it affected my family. I learned that you can ask anyone “where were you when the planes hit the Twin Towers?” and they will respond with more detail than you could ever imagine. They know everything from where they were when it happened to what they ate for breakfast that morning. It is a day that is etched into the mind of millions. Fifteen years later, each image is as clear as it was on that day in our nation’s history.

Cover Image Credit: Clio

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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A Message To High School Seniors

It's going to be alright.

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Dear High School Seniors,

You've made it! In just a few months you will be getting ready to put on your cap and gown and walk across the stage to get your diploma. Soon, you're gonna say goodbye to the life you've known for the past four years and start a new life somewhere else. At this point, your senioritis has most likely already kicked in and you're probably dreading waking up at 7 a.m. more and more each day. The second semester of senior year is annoying but cherish every moment of it.

Everything is about to change. As you walk down the hallways look around. Take a second to look at your classmates and ask them how their day is going. Learn about them and the stories they have to share with the world. Everybody has some advice to give and you never know what you're going to learn. Before you know it, you won't be seeing their faces anymore. The only form of connection you'll have with most of them is through social media which will eventually fade as well. You don't want your only memories of those you graduated with to be just seeing their face in the hall.

Go to the places you love the most. Whether it's your favorite hometown restaurant or your favorite place to hang out with your friends, go. Go until you're sick of it. Take a second to acknowledge the sights and smells around you. You're going to miss them. In a few months, you won't be able to jump in your car and drive five minutes to get there. The places that make your home your home are about to be a long car ride or flight away.

Spend time with your family. This is one thing I wish I realized earlier more than anything. Your parents are most likely going to soon become visibly upset or scared at the fact that you're leaving them. After all, you are their little girl or boy. This time is just as stressful for them as it is for you. But don't make fun of them, hang out with them. You're going to miss the once dreaded trips to the grocery store with your mom and the annoying car rides with your little brother. You really don't realize how important your family is to you until they're not a few footsteps away anymore. Unfortunately, no amount of facetime calls will ever compare to being with them in person. Don't leave home wishing you had spent more time with them.

Be involved in the things happening at your school. Go to prom. Buy a yearbook and get as many people as you can to sign it. Go to the football, basketball, baseball and soccer games you have left. These activities may seem boring at times but they are what you're going to miss. When you get to a big university it isn't going to be as easy to get involved.

Get excited about for the future. Even if you're not going to your dream school, it's going to be ok. The second semester of my senior year I spent upset over the fact I was going to stay at an in-state school. The school I'm at now was the last place I had thought about attending. I almost didn't even apply. However, I am so lucky that I did. I truly can not imagine there being a school that could have been a better choice for me. The people I have met and the opportunities I have been given would have never been put in front of me if I had attended another school. Try to keep an open mind. Everything really does happen for a reason. If you aren't going to the school you originally were hoping to, don't stress. You're going to end up at the place right for you, at least I know I did.

College is amazing but there will always be something special about your home. Make sure you make these last few months your best months. These next few months will be filled with a whole lot of lasts and followed by a whole lot of firsts. Good luck!

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