16 years later


9/11 is one of those events where the world stops. It stopped. Everything stopped.

When I talk with people my age about 9/11, most of them just reference the aftermath. Very few people my age have memories of that day.

I do.

I was five years old on September 11, 2001. Now, it’s important to note that I wasn’t one of those standard la-dee-dah five year olds. I paid attention to things. I understood things.

I was in my Kindergarten class in a small private school taught by nuns (and I mean the real habit wearing kind). I was walking to my piano lesson down the hall, and overheard the first grade teacher talking to her class. She said something about a plane hitting the twin towers.

Now, I thought that was weird: when did a plane hit the twin towers? She must be teaching a history lesson.

About an hour later, my mother picked me up early from the school, which was shutting down. She didn’t say anything until I did.

“Did a plane hit the twin towers?” my five year old mouth uttered.

My mom’s jaw hit the floor of the car so hard.

We went to my grandmother’s house, and I got my little firefighter’s hat. I wore it the entire day.

I still own a book from 2002 of photos of 9/11 as it happened. I bought it at my school book fair. I still remember my “favorite” picture (I’m morbid): a staircase from a neighboring building covered in dust from the towers.


None of my friends have distinct memories of that day. Either their young brains blocked it out, or their parents guarded them from the coverage that day. They don’t remember holding your breath when a plane flew overhead. They complain about having to wait in line for security, which is something I will never complain about.

I don’t know, it’s a weird thing. It’s even worse with anyone younger than me. I remember dating someone a year younger than me, and they had no memories whatsoever of 9/11. It was weird. My brain just can’t grasp the fact that people were alive, but too young to remember.

-Sheepie ❤ 🗽


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