Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Moment of Being: 09.11.2001

In my Advanced Writing course this semester, we discussed "moments of being." These are moments during everyone's life in which very detailed memories are formed. These can be moments of pure bliss, deep tragedy or any other drastic change or emotion in your life. Sometimes, you don't know why a particular memory has become a moment of being because you're not quite sure what you're supposed to have learned from it ... yet. Regardless, these moments are ingrained in your mind, from the things you saw and heard to the way you were feeling and even the way something smelled. Every nuance is recorded in your memory.

There is also such a thing as a "national moment of being" - a moment during which everyone can remember where they were and what they were doing when said moment occurred. For an older generation, this might have been the assassination of JFK. For those a few years older than me, it could have possibly been the Challenger explosion. For our generation, and so many above ours, it was most certainly 9/11.

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

I lived in California in 2001, so it was fairly early in the morning when the television stations began broadcasting the attack on the Twin Towers. I remember my mom waking me up and telling me to come downstairs to her room, where the small television screen at the foot of her bed was filled with smoke and screams. I didn't quite understand then why something happening 3,000 miles away was such a big deal, yet when I walked outside to go to school a few hours later, I half expected the horizon beyond the cornfield outside my house to be similarly filled with smoke.

At school, the coverage continued to be played in the library and in our classrooms. Friends and teachers inquired about my family members in Pennsylvania after Flight 93 went down. I became worried; at 11 years old, I wasn't quite sure which county my grandparents and cousins lived in. But wouldn't my mom have told me if something had happened to them? (Don't worry, they didn't live near the crash. And my cousin who lived in New York City at the time was out of the state visiting friends, so I'm fortunate to not have any personal tragedies related to the attack.)

I know there were probably a million blogs posted today about September 11, and I don't presume to think my post offers any insight that another blog wouldn't. But I do remember that day, and I will remember it until the day I die. It was truly a moment of being, for myself and an entire generation.

I did stumble upon this gem today, however, which offers a new and interesting perspective on 9/11 and the lack of social media that existed to perpetuate the tragedy. If a major terrorist attack happened in America today, I'd hate to think of the unnecessary rumors and violence that would come out of the Internet's prominence in today's society.

What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

Patty said...

When I started reading this blog, I immediately thought of the Challenger. I was in college. My roommates and I were home for lunch. I was making macaroni and cheese and tomato soup, and we had the TV on.