Eleven years ago today, I sat in A. P. History class, when the teacher announced that the Twin Towers had been attacked. I remember feeling shock, a loss. I lived in Utah, about as far away from New York as you can get, both physically and culturally. I didn't know any of these people, but I felt them, even from far away. It was difficult to concentrate on anything that day. I remember teachers abandoning their lesson plans, letting us listen to the radio during class, or telling us about the Kennedy assassination--another day when the whole nation's consciousness was wrenched together by tragedy. I have heard that 9/11 and the Kennedy assassination are similar, in that everyone remembers exactly what they were doing when they heard the news.
I remember President Bush asking everyone to pray for those affected--I liked that.
I remember American flags popping up everywhere: in newspapers, magazines, storefronts, websites, homes, offices.
I remember all the patriotism everyone showed; how, for a while, it was good to be patriotic again. I remember policemen and firefighters marching in our small, homespun parade and getting wild cheers and applause, because of the examples of bravery their counterparts had shown in the rescue efforts following the attacks.
Eleven years later, America is still a great place to live. I hope we all remember this.
I know I said "moment of silence," and here I am, sharing a video. Keep in mind that whenever there is silence around me, there is still music rushing through my brain at a frenetic rate. This video is probably the best summary of how I felt, and feel about September 11, 2001. It pairs footage from ABC's "Report from Ground Zero" with footage of Leonard Slatkin conducting the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in one of the world's best elegiac melodies ever written--the abstrusely titled "Adagio for Strings" by American composer Samuel Barber. This performance of the Adagio was given on September 15, 2001, when the world was still reeling from the pain of a fresh wound. You might need a moment of silence after you watch it.