Just a warning: Some of my opinions listed here may be offensive to some readers. Read with caution. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I was in 8th grade when 9/11 happened, just barely two weeks in or so. I like on the West Coast, so it was early in the morning, I had gotten up for school, dressed, and come downstairs. Rounding the bottom of the stairs, I could see the TV. Now, I was used to my mom watching the news in the morning before school, but as I see this footage on the TV of planes crashing into a building, I can’t help but wonder why my mom’s watching a movie before school. I asked, “What movie are you watching?”
She says, without looking away from the TV, “It’s not a movie, it’s the news.”
I remember thinking “Holy shit.”
We watched the news until we had to leave, then in class, during the morning announcements, the principle comes on and we had a moment of silence then she told us that school was the safest place we could be at that time, even if some parents didn’t think so. Then we watched the news in our class room.
I remember going home later and emailing my friend who lived in New York at the time, asking if her and her family were okay. She kind of laughed at me and said everyone was fine.
That’s about all I remember from that day.
After that, I stopped really giving a shit. It was a bad thing to have happened, horrible really. I knew it was horrible, but I never claimed to be the nicest person out there. I thought -and still think to an extent- that it was something we should never forget but move on from. We can’t let something heal if we keep picking at it. And it seemed, as the years went by, that everyone else forgot about it too. The extent of remembrance went towards a moment of silence, some talk about, rewatch the footage on the anniversary, and that was it. Still is, basically.
Here’s another warning: SPOILERS if you haven’t seen Remember Me (and it’s such a good movie, that if you haven’t you need to now!)
My feelings changed some when I saw the movie, Remember Me with Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin. It’s an adorable love movie that ends with Robert Pattinson’s life coming back together and then… He dies in the World Trade Centers.
When the movie ended after the first time I saw it, I thought it was the shittiest ending ever. It felt like a cop out, not to mention, they killed him when his life was just getting back to being good! His dad was paying more attention to his sister, he was getting back together with the girl he loved, everything was just pulling back together so perfectly…
And then he dies. WTF movie people, wtf? And then, to top it off, they used Sept. 11 as the way he died. They showed him all happy in his dad’s office, looking out the window, and then the camera moves back and shows he’s at the top of one of the towers. Now, throughout the movie, it never really hints as to the date the whole move takes place, where the dad’s office is. All you know is it’s in New York.
To say the least, I felt slighted.
But then I started to think about it. The movie brings you back to how you felt the day 9/11 happened. And not only that, but it made you feel so deeply for someone, then felt the pain of losing them in the tragedy that marks this day.
Before seeing this movie, I was just a west coast girl who knew no one lost in the attack. Oh, I knew from pictures and video footage, and hearing second hand about all of the pain it caused, but it didn’t affect me in that kind of way.
After seeing the movie, I have a new… appreciation? acceptance?… some kind of feeling I can’t think the name of. But I feel differently about 9/11 now. It wasn’t just a some buildings, but people’s loved ones. Their friends, their families. People who may have just started getting their lives back on track, people who were going through a hard time, people who woke up and said to themselves “Today is going to be a good day.”
I think that’s part of the problem. We see it as “The World Trade Center” and always so pictures of the buildings, or the lights shooting into the sky to mimic the towers. But what about all those people? We should have slide shows talking about the people. Buildings can be rebuilt, but those people are gone forever.
All right, I’m done. I’m sorry to anyone who I offended in this post, but I’m not a saint, never claimed to be. I have bad thoughts just like anyone else, but I own up to them.
And now, a moment of silence in memory of the people who died in the attack on the World Trade Center.