Sunday, September 11, 2011


I was in second grade. It was a normal day. I was walking to the bus stop. As I walked up, all the other kids are talking.
"Did ya hear?" A wise 5th grader asks.
I feel like this is a joke. I'm gonna ask what they're talking about and they'll make fun of something I said.
"What ya eatin' under there?"
"Under where?"
"Ha! You're eating underwear!"
"Heard what?"
"The towers. A big plane crashed into two towers."
I don't know about you, but as a little girl in 2nd grade, I automatically hear the word tower and think of a castle. Like, a princess locked in one.
"They're on fire."
My confusion rises. Don't dragons set towers on fire? Planes don't even produce fire.

Our bus comes.

"Did you hear did you hear?"
There's a buzz on the bus as everyone talks about the planes.
The bus driver isn't listening to country music, instead she's listening to a man talk.
I get bored and look outside.

In class Mrs. Holbrook explains, "A plane crashed into some buildings in New York."
New York?
Why had I heard that before?
Chad. Chad was in New York a few weeks ago.

The TV is on mute. we see images of fires, people crying, and fire trucks.

"Mrs. Holbrook, why did the man do that?"
"I don't know."

The summer before 5th grade.
We are in New York on a church history tour.
"Alright guys, we have one day, what should we do?"
I'm the baby. Somehow the decision was made that we would go to ground zero.
What the heck was a place with no ground?
We went and Chanelle and I were holding my daddy's hands so we wouldn't get lost.
We looked out big windows. There was a big lot. Full of ash and charred wood. People were crying.
"Aubs, you see that over there? That's the World Trade Center. This is where 9/11 happened."

It suddenly clicked. 9/11 was suddenly very real to me. Before it was just pictures on TV, letters to the fire fighters I had written. Songs about freedom I had sung. Everything was real.
This was where some people died. I looked at my brothers and sisters and imagined what it'd be like if they were gone.

"Mom, do you remember where you were?"
"I was in the kitchen. That phone rang. It was grandma. I didn't believe her. I thought she didn't know what she was talking about. It seemed too crazy."

A poem by Chanelle, 5th grade.

Thank You

When I first heard what happened I didn't understand. Then I watched selfless Americans.
I'd like to say,


I watched so many people help, rescue, comfort, and recover. All the firefighters, policemen, and doctors. They are all great heros brave and strong.
I'd like to say,


To all the people that were on the plane that sacrificed their lives, to save many others.
I'd like to say,


To the people who are helping dig through the debris recovering bodies. Never giving up.
I'd like to say,


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