Friday, September 14, 2012
I am sitting in my bed, wearing my favorite dog socks to keep my toes warm. It's been a busy week. We successfully pulled off our first Aggie TV (A-TV) news show on Wednesday. I had two papers due this week too. And a quiz. And a test. And I've also been making actual meals for dinner still. Tonight we had enchiladas. Next on the menu, I'm going to try sweet and sour chicken. I have discovered that cooking is a lot easier when you actually try it. I played volleyball tonight too with some of my favorite gal pals. And I realized something funny. . .half of us are married. Where does the time go?
I'm in this class called Child Guidance. Which is really just a parenting, class but I think they call it Child Guidance in hopes that more students will take it. No, I'm not planning on parenting a child anytime soon. But I needed more electives, and this one sounded somewhat easy. Plus, it's somewhat relative since I will one day be a parent. Anyhow, on Tuesday we learned about the chronosystem. The chronosystem is one of the five systems of Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory. Google it. Basically, the chronosystem takes in all the historical moments of importance inside an individual's life. I found it quite ironic that we learned about the chronosystem on what was the 11th anniversary of September 11th. As young as I was and as confusing as the whole day seemed to me, September 11th will forever be a part of my own chronosystem. One day, perhaps my grandchildren will say, "Grandma, weren't you alive when the airplanes hit the twin towers? What was that like?"
I was on the school bus when it happened, when the first tower went down. As I sat on that big brown seat, staring out the smudged window, I figured it was just another regular day in my ten year old life. I was oblivious as to what was happening in the big city of New York. Honestly, the city of New York seemed more like a dream to me anyways, a place I often heard about but it wasn't actually real. I was the very first kid on the bus. We were finally nearing the end of our long route. We picked up a boy who was one of my fellow peers. He often made up outrageous stories. Lots of kids wouldn't listen to his stories and told him he was a liar. I usually listened. I just knew better than to believe him. I figured he just had a crazy imagination. This boy came bounding to the back of the bus and sat down by me.
"Kelsey Keller, did you hear about the airplane that crashed into the building?"
"One of the twin towers in New York City! Some bad guys took over this plane and then they crashed it into the building so they could kill lots of people."
I remember thinking that was the silliest story he had ever told (well, besides the story about the gorilla breaking out of the zoo and eating some men) but it still made me feel a little bit afraid. Would bad men really do that? Take over an airplane and crash it into a building?
"That's not true," I whispered.
"Yes it is, I was just watching it on tv before the bus came."
I shook my head and turned to continue staring out the window.
When we arrived at school, I learned that the boy's story was very true. All the televisions in every classroom were turned on, the teachers glued to them. After hanging up my backpack, I gathered around the television by the rest of my friends. Minutes later, I watched as another airplane struck the second building. I watched as the immaculate building slowly began to crumble, smoke rising, tiny specks which were actually bodies falling from the building to their death.
I felt panic and confusion. The other 5th grade teacher came into our classroom to speak with my teacher. They were both crying. I felt like crying too. I didn't know anyone in New York and I honestly didn't even know the twin towers existed until that day they were destroyed, but I felt an overwhelming wave of sadness and fear that I didn't quite understand. Our great country had been attacked. Lots of people were dead. And I didn't understand why.
My senior year of high school, I went to Ground Zero where they were still cleaning up the rubble from that horrific day. There was a great solitude there. I understood more then. I thought back to that naive ten year old with the wavy brown hair, wearing her levi jacket, trying to make sense of the world on that day. She couldn't figure out how someone could do something so evil. But eighteen year old Kelsey understood. I really comprehended for the first time that we are the greatest country in the world, and something great will always be threatened. But I think more than ever on that day, we proved we were a great country as we came together and helped one another through the heartache.
I will never ever forget that day. It is a part of me. It is a part of how I view my country and how I respect and love it. On this day and every day, I am so thankful for the sacrifices made by those who keep this country great.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.