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Where were you?
September 7, 2011 - Kylie Saari
It has been 10 years, but I bet everyone in the country over a certain age remembers what we were doing that moment when we heard an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center.
For my mom and dad, they remember where they were when they heard about JFK. For my generation, it was watching the Challenger explode on live TV. Each generation has a defining moment, something so shocking they will always remember it like it just happened.
On that sunny Tuesday morning, just before 8 a.m., I was driving to my office in Fargo, N.D. I was a magazine editor for a semi-national magazine distributed through newspapers. I was listening to NPR. Someone was doing a comedic speech about President Bush and I laughed. The news broke in right as I pulled into the parking lot.
I thought, "Oh, no. Something must have really gone wrong for that to happen." I figured it was an accident.
Then I went into work and started an early morning meeting with our printer, who was housed next door. It was there I learned of the second plane and all the stuff associated with that.
My husband and I were moving to the Twin Cities two days later and had everything packed up. We never watched the TV coverage, we didn't get a newspaper. We learned the details through the internet and radio.
My kids weren't born yet — not for two more years would our son arrive — and I do not envy the parents who had to explain that to their children.
But I now find myself in a strange position. My third grader is learning about it in school, but he doesn't grasp how recently it happened. 10 years might as well be 100 to someone who is only 8 years old. He likes to see the pictures of the buildings, because he can see the insides of the walls and the flames.
He has never seen abject terror reflected on the face of loved ones, never experienced the fear many of us felt that day. I am grateful for that. I hope he never does. But deep down I know that his generation will have something that defines them. A moment in history so frightening it will stick with the collective memory for eternity.
I don't relish the thought that something this terrible will happen again, but I can't deny that history has shown us it will.
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