I was in high school (Yes, I'm a young one). I was in my civics/economics class when the teacher was told to turn on the t.v. in the classroom. We turned it on and I saw something I couldn't have imagined in my wildest dreams. We saw the huge hole in the side of the first tower that had been hit. I remember thinking, "That's not good, but I have a feeling this is bigger than I realize." I still didn't quite understand just how "big of a deal" it was. Then, as we watched we saw the second plane hit the other tower. That's when it sunk in for me. As I sat there watching that t.v. I realized I was watching people die at that very instant. We watched the towers crumble and I was no longer living in my little teenage isolated world. War was real. Devasation was real. Death was real. One student had a family member who worked in the towers and I remember seeing several teachers taking her to the office. Teachers were just as shaken up as the students. No one knew what to do. We all sat watching the television in every class as we found out about each attack; the pentagon, the plane in Somerset.
Being young, I did not have a real concept of war. I only knew what I had learned about but I always thought, "That happens in other places. Things like that don't happen here in America." 9/11 put me in reality. It took away the naiveté. I also saw tremedous loss. People from around the country, even the world, were impacted by this horrific event. My little school had students who suffered personal loss from the events on 9/11.
I should add, while this was an event in my life that showed me true evil for the first time, it also showed me true compassion. I saw the power of humans to join together and protect each other. In the days after 9/11 I saw a country stronger and more powerful than I had ever seen. Every home on my block proudly displayed the American Flag on their porch. Small and petty disagreements were put aside. I'll never forget the events of 9/11 and I'll always remember those who lost but I will also never forget the country we were on 9/12. 9/11 taught me the worst of people and 9/12 taught me the best of people.