Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where Were You?

I had just turned eleven when terrorists attacked the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on the eleventh of September, 2001. I remember it because my brother swears up and down that we were going to fly to Disney Land that evening, a fact of which I have no recollection beyond his protestations. It was the early morning and I was up. It was a Tuesday, and I remember that because Tuesdays were a reading day and not a math day, and the tuesday book was Silverwing by Kenneth Opal, a book I have thoroughly forgotten.

Its weird what things your memory catches and what things they know. I know exactly where every classroom I ever had a class in at Uplands Elementary was, same with Beaconsfield Middle and Saint John High. Can't remember more than a dozen teachers without thinking heavily, though.

You remember weird things. I remember my brother coming down and seeing it on the news. That itself was wierd. Grandma watched the news in the morning down in the sitting room, but this was up in the living room, and mom and dad were watching it. I remember two things: the look my brother gave my mother (he'd have been nine at the time), and the surreal feeling that the television had to be showing a movie or something.

By the time I was awake that day, even with my childhood tendancy to wake up early, both towers were already struck. I think they were even already talking about terrorism then, but I don't really remember. I remember it looked wrong. Fake, somehow. You have to remember, I lived in a pretty remote neck of the woods back then. New York itself was only slightly more real than middle earth, and only then by virtue of the fact that I had been to a couple of towns in Alaska and a reasonable amount of Washington State by then and America was sort of solidified as "rude Canada" in my brain.

I'm even reasonably certain I went to school that day, but I think I got sent home. I know there was an announcement over the PA at the time and for the first time ever, everyone in the class shut up entirely to listen to it. Getting a pack of sixth graders to pay attention to anyone was hard back then, made harder by the fact that mine was a split class, and half fifth graders.

Again, it's funny what you remember.

So... where were you?

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