I knew something was different about the day. Something that had gone wrong? I couldn't put my finger on it. I went to PE with the rest of my third grade class. But when my PE teacher sat us down on the bleachers instead of giving us laps, that feeling that something was wrong doubled. There were tears in sweet Mrs. Garrison's eyes as she told us that something very, very sad had happened. Some bad men had knocked down two very important buildings in New York City and killed many, many people. Being only 7, I didn't fully understand what this meant. But what I did understand was that it was bad. Very bad. I can't remember if we even did PE class that day. But I do remember feeling like someone had thrown a wet blanket over the day. All the teachers and older kids were crying.
Not long after PE, my class and I were back in our classroom. All of a sudden, my mom came bursting through the door, looking slightly panic stricken. I can't clearly remember all that happened next. From what I can remember, she looked at my teacher, nodded, and told me firmly that we had to go. I was confused. Leaving before school got out? I only did that when I was sick. I saw my younger brother behind my mom, with his backpack loaded with books. Confusion welling in on all sides, I saw my teacher packing up my backpack with assignments. "Will three days be enough?" she asked my mom. My mom nodded and helped me put my backpack on and then hurried me out of the classroom and into the parking lot into our waiting car.
I think maybe at this point I started connecting what my PE teacher had said with what was going on now. I asked my mom what was going on as we left the parking lot. "They're closing up the base," she said. "We won't be able to get in or out once they do. You'll have to do school at home for the rest of the week." My brother and I squirmed with delight at the thought of doing school at home. No more gettin up at 6:30 every morning! Our excitement soon diminished when we realized that our mom was really upset. The rest of the ride home was silent.
Until we got to the base.
The place was a madhouse. We waited a very, very long time to even get into the base. When we finally reached our house, my mom got a phone call that prompted her to hussle us all back into the car and go to the Commissary. I don't know why, but everyone was buying food. I think they were going to close the Commissary and other on base stores as well. Whatever it was, I had never seen the Commissary so crowded.
Everything else is a blur. When we got home, my mom cried. Alot. I don't know when my dad got home, but he was upset too. I don't really know if he cried. I was so scared. What could have happened to make my parents and all the grown-ups and big kids so upset? My seven-year-old mind couldn't comprehend it. Maybe that was for the best.
I can't remember when everything fell into place in my mind about 9/11 and what happened that terrible day. I know it took a couple years at least. But I know one thing. No matter how old I get, or where I go in life, I will never, ever forget 9/11. I won't forget that even now, we battling hard against terrorists. Terrorists who seek to destroy our country. But who won't succeed. Becuase no matter how tragic 9/11 was, it proved one thing.
America may get knocked down, but she will always get back up. Every citizen of America will support one another through tragedy and triumph. They will hold each other as they cry and celebrate every joy. God has given us a patriotic spirit that cannot be broken.
God always has, and may He always continue to bless America.