Experiencing 9/11 As A Child

A photo my Uncle Tony took August 8, 2011 on a trip to New York just one month before 9/11

On September 11, 2001 I was seven years old. I was in 3rd grade all the way across the country in California.

I couldn’t tell you the rigorous details from that day, other then stories from my parents or what I’ve seen on the news. But there are parts of that day that I will never forget.

I remember my Dad standing in front of the T.V. He had tears in his eyes, and at that point in time I had only seen my Dad cry one other time, so I knew something was up. I know he talked to me about what was happening. I thought I understood, but I had no clue. I don’t even know how my dad could have possibly explained to a 7 year old the tragedy that was happening.

It was foggy and windy that day and I genuinely thought it was because of what was happening in New York. I had no idea how far it truly was.

My Grandma lived down the street from my Elementary school, and as she walked me to school I remember her telling me if anything were to happen, I needed to run as fast as I could to her house, and she would meet me on the way. I’ve always been a worrier, even at seven years old, and I was worried about what I was supposed to be worried about. I could tell by everyones face around me that there was something to worry about.

School that day definitely did not go on as normal. It was oddly quiet. The teachers told us that the World Trade Center had been “hit”. What did that even mean? I had no idea what the World Trade Center was and couldn’t fathom what she had meant by hit. I heard the word “hijack” tossed around, but I couldn’t possibly grasp that word. Still, I thought I understood. At least I thought I wanted to.

As a child you always think that you understand things in the same way as adults. As adults, we know that isn’t true.

In the days that followed every adult around me tried to explain what had happened to the best of their ability. Now, as an adult and Mother, I am realizing how difficult of a task that must have been.

The older I got the more I learned and understood what exactly happened. At some point in time I realized that because of my age, I experienced that day in a total different way.

The country is often divided into before 9/11 and after. In my memory, there is no before. I can’t remember the things that have changed post 9/11. I never knew what security was like in airports before the attacks and I cannot remember a time that we were not fighting the battle our country has been fighting since that day.

I am proud of how far America has came since that day and how we are all able to come together when we truly need to.

A blog post my Dad wrote after the attacks

One thought on “Experiencing 9/11 As A Child

  1. Such an interesting perspective to hear 9/11 from a child's view. Crazy how vivid it still is in everyone's minds. I was in high school when it happened, so I had a better idea what was happening. Such a sad moment in our history.


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