Didn't Even Know What They WereOn 9/11 I was a grade 5 Canadian student sitting in class waiting for class to start. For some reason the teacher was running late to get to class, not just ours but a couple of them. About 10 minutes after class was supposed to start our teacher came back and took us out immediately for an assembly. We were a small school and never had anything like a big emergency assembly so we were confused.
When we got into the gymnasium we were all seated on the floor and the principle took the stage. We knew something was off because she was usually smiling and talking to people before she began but she was silent and serious. She told us about what was going on, about how the twin towers were hit. Most of us had no idea what was really happening so it kind of just brushed off of our shoulders. That day was an early day as we were sent home at lunch time.
Only when I was home had I realized why the adults were concerned. I watched on television as they showed the planes, watched the towers crumple to the ground, watched people running and screaming for their lives. I still had no idea how far this was happening away from me but I was scared.
I remember my parents friends in a panic because their family was in New York at the time, my friends at school seemed depressed because of their parents worries...
Only a few years ago did the toll of the event actually hit me. As a child it was confusing, I didn't understand how things worked and I don't think I actually realized that people were dying inside the buildings as they collapsed. Today when I think about it (and write this) I feel a strange sadness even though I didn't know a single person who passed. I feel sad for the horror they were put through in their final moments and the pain that all of their families went through as they waited to learn the fate of their loved ones.