9/11, Ten Years Later

Ten years ago. 6 a.m. P.S.T. in Vancouver. I arose to the sound of my radio alarm clock, but what was playing on the radio was not what I had been accustomed to. Not music, but news that two planes had struck the World Trade Center towers in New York City.

I turned the dial on my alarm clock back and forth, tuning into different stations. All of them were talking about what had happened.

Ten years ago. The media was confused; mixed reports were flying around everywhere as to what was actually struck. Two towers struck, the Pentagon hit. The U.S. Capitol on fire?

Was it a dream?

I walked from my bedroom downstairs and turned on the television. My first inclination was to check the morning news. All I saw that morning before school were reports of what was happening in New York and Washington D.C.

Was it a dream?

My high school was abuzz about the attacks. Several teachers had relatives in N.Y.C.; they had taken the day off to catch up with their loved ones. All amidst great tragedy. I clearly remembered that no one could concentrate on learning or teaching that day—all thoughts were on what was happening in the U.S.

At the end of the day, in French class, several of us tuned into the radio for updates. Needless to say, it was an incredibly sobering moment. I remember hearing the voices on the radio announcing that World Trade Center 7 had just collapsed.

To this day, all of the sights and sounds through radio, television, and around my community remain crystal clear in my mind, as though they had just happened.

When my friends and I rushed past The Sphere in Battery Park a couple years ago, I paused for a moment. An especially poignant moment of reflection. It was one thing to see everything from the other side of the continent; it was another to see one of the remnants up close and personal.

Ten years ago. Not a dream.

Ten years ago. A day that not only changed the U.S. It was a day that changed the world—some for the better, some for the worse.

Ten years ago. Emblazoned into many generations now and many more to come.

Ten years ago. 9/11. May we never forget this great human tragedy that, despite its roots in religion, race, and politics, transcended all three for many around the world.