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Where Were You?

Every year, I spend time on September 11 remembering what I thought and I how I felt that day when tragedy struck.

Few days stick out so vividly in my memory as that one, and I’m sure it’s that way for most people. Closing my eyes, I can actually picture nearly every moment and remember every conversation I had that day.

I was a senior in high school, and as usual, I was sitting in the cafeteria with my small group of friends before first hour, when one of my friends came running up the stairs exclaiming about what she had just heard on the radio. Before we could find out the specifics, the bell rang and we had to head out to our respective classes.

Lost in my own world and worrying about different homework assignments that were due and that I needed to finish up, I didn’t pay all that much attention to the news, and figured if it was really important, an announcement would be made or I would somehow just know. (Probably a pretty typical mindset for most seventeen year olds.)

None of us knew just how bad that first plane crash was until less than an hour later when one of the vice principals interrupted each class to speak with the teachers, who then switched on the classroom televisions.

Suddenly, worrying about whatever assignment was due, or what test was coming up later in the week no longer seemed as important, as we watched history unfold before our very eyes.

Seeing such a tragedy happen put things into perspective for me, and showed me that I need to pay more attention to my surroundings and what is happening in the rest of the world.

I’ll admit that I don’t always do as good of a job keeping up on world news as I’d like, and I’m still pretty naive or uninformed about a lot of current events, but I make more of an effort than I did before to stay informed about things important to the rest of the world.

While this is one of the saddest days in our nation’s history (at least that has happened during my lifetime), I encourage you to spend some time reflecting how you felt that day, and how it changed you.

It’s important to remember what we’ve been through, to thank those who have served, and to step outside of our own world and pay attention to what is happening all around us, even if it isn’t something we like to do or want to know.

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