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Waking Up

September 11, 2008

Living on the East Coast, I have been awake for all the moments of silence in remembrance of 9/11.

But on that day seven years ago, I was a fifteen-year-old asleep in her bed in a quiet suburb in Oregon. I woke up on September 11 as if it was any other day. I took a shower. I got ready for school. I flipped on the radio to listen to some music until my dad drove my brother and I to school. But today was different.

Peter Jennings was on the radio.

Why is Peter Jennings on the radio?

I knocked on my parent’s bedroom door.

My mother was sitting on the bed, with the news playing on her little TV on the dresser. On the screen, I saw a tower. A lone tower, made even more alone and minuscule by the size of the screen.

My dad told me I was watching history. I didn’t know what that meant, because I was young and the only history I ever knew had happened before I was born or before I could remember. The Gulf War, the hostage situation in Iran, everything about terror and war had existed before my memories began.

While my co-workers and family on the East Coast watched the events unfold as they happened, I only witnessed the collapse of the North Tower at 10:29 a.m. My prayers went out to all the individuals, their families and friends, and the rescue workers who tried to save them.

10:29 a.m. I pray again. This time, I pray for everyone.

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