September 11 Digital Archive


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How has your life changed because of what happened on September 11, 2001?

I was 13 years old when the events of Semptember 11th, 2001 unfolded. I was a middle schooler at the time. While walking out of my 1st period French class, I heard bits and pieces of different conversations from other students. The only things I could pick up were that a plane had hit The Pentagon, and The Twin Towers. I exchanged my books at my locker and then proceeded to my 2nd period math class. From this point on, everything is blurry, every detail runs together, and it is from this point on that I begin to lose understanding. I took my seat in math, and there, our teacher told us what she knew, which was very little. The only thing I remember is her saying there were pictures of smoke coming from The Pentagon, but they didn't what exactly had caused it.We proceeded to have class as normal, and as that period ended, another began. This, I remember, was the only part of the day that would shed any clarification. This was the only class that actually let us see what was happening, and it was only for five minutes. I can't remember if I saw the 2nd tower fall live, or if what I saw was a replay.To this day, I still don't know. it was after that the tv was shut off and we proceeded on with class. I remember being so angry at not being let see what was happening to our country, happening to our other fellow Americans. I wanted to understand, I wanted to process what was happening, but I wasn't allowed. I was supposed to carry on as if it were a "normal day." That is how the school decided to handle it. Treat it as a normal day. We all knew it wasn't a normal day, so why treat it as one! I am angry at that still. The day proceeded on. I can't remember much of it. I can't remember what classes we spoke of the day's tragedies, or who I personally spoke of them to. The next bit of the day that I can clearly see is coming home from school, and sitting in front of the tv. A plane flew over our house producing sonic booms. Me and my sister dove behind the couch, cluthcing eachother in fear. We thought we were being bombed. I only remember bits and pieces of most the days to follow that day. I remember feeling scared to death and confused. I remember watching the tv coverage for 3 plus days more before we finally had the courage to change the channel. And I remember how wrong we felt when we did. I remember how from that day forward America united together, and showed the terrorists that they could not break us. That day, and the days to follow, every American became bound to one another, forever sharing a bond. And that's how we showed them they could not, nor would they EVER break us. Millions of people, strangers, people I will never even know exsisted, every single one of us are tethered. We are bound forever, and remain stronger forever.

How will you remember the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks?

I am 23 years old now. To this day, I still am not fully able to grasp the events that took place that day, and even the days, months, and rest of 2001 that followed. To this day, I still don't understand everything that happened, and I am afraid I never will. I watch documentries, read stories, and anything else I can to try to process it. I remember I had set my VCR to record a show of mine that day, and it instead recorded footage. I have watched some, but for some reason, have never been able to finish it. Maybe some day I will. I still have anger at my middle school for not allowing us to watch and absorb what happened. I think if we had been allowed to I might have a clearer understanding of that day, and maybe a better memory. But I dont know. Maybe some day I won't have anger anymore for something I can never change. Now, ten years later, I can try to bring myself to grasp ahold of that day. I will honor those who sacraficed their lives to save someone else, and honor those innocents who had their lives ripped away from them much too early. I will pray for their families, and for those who survived. Those who relive it every day of their life. Now, ten years later, I will remember everything I can from that day, and never forget it. Maybe some day I will understand it, and maybe I won't, but remembering is the best step I can take towards understanding.


Ashley, “[Untitled],” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed December 12, 2017,