Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Tribute

“Tonight’s the night. The plan goes forward.” Extremists in the Middle East whisper amongst themselves this day. As the specific hour draws near they go to their prayer rugs and kneel down to pray.

Today was the day that a man, bent forward from time boarded an airplane holding his wooden cane. Not knowing that his life was but a thread from death.

Time froze today when men came forward, sharp blades in hand, taking control of the aircraft and everyone aboard.

One flight full of people, whose thoughts were torn, fought back in order to save more. In the end, their heroic act ended with their plane crashing into the mud of a Pennsylvanian field.

This morning nine years ago I walked into school unknowing. As I walked around the corner into my first class, the time around 7:40 am MST, the Television blared bright and loud. CBS was broadcasting a tragedy in the making.

My teacher, a man named “Huck” Shirley came out of his office, tears in his eyes, and looked at the few of us sitting there, on the floor, on desks, standing, wherever we could possibly get the best view of the television from.

“Write.”

I turned to look at him.

“Write, everything, take out a notebook and write. Don’t stop, write about what you are seeing, what you are feeling, thinking, events as they unfold, write. If you are smart you will write all day. There will come a day when your grandchildren will want to know what happened today, and you will not want to forget it, not one single piece of it.”

I was one of the few who did what he said.

I was glued to the Television in my Humanities class the moment the second plane flew into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center. I watched as people jumped from windows stories high, the clouds of smoke billowing into the sky. I watched as the buildings crumbled, turning into a mess of ash, steel, rubble and stone. I cried. I cried for the loss of so many, I cried for the anger that filled my soul. I cried for Revenge.

Every year on this day, I take out my nine pages of notes hidden away in an old journal, written my Junior year of High School. Every year I reflect on my thoughts at that time, my feelings then, and what I know now.

With two children of my own, the words Mr. Shirley said that morning mean more to me than any I have garnered from any teacher. “Write… When your grandchildren are conducting interviews for school, what will you remember? If you were given the opportunity to interview grandparents who survived WWII and interviewed them, it will be much of the same, how much will you be able to tell them, and what will you tell them of the world before and the world after.”

So take a moment of silence today, to remember the day that united our nation, the day that we all grieved for the loss of people we didn’t even know. Remember 9/11.

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