Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Remember

In Memoriam

My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of 9/11 as well as our soldiers, firefighters, aid workers and all those who worked tirelessly to help on this horrific day.

I was only in second grade when 9/11 occurred. I have very few memories from the event. I remember seeing the planes crash into the Towers over and over again and not really understanding what was going on. I don't remember if we got out of school early or if anyone told us what was going on (I don't they did. I would have remembered that). I remember that even on the kids TV channels, all programs were interrupted to show coverage in NYC. I was mad about that. I remember suffering from information overload. I was afraid Chicago would be hit next, that my father would have to go to war because the draft would be re-instated (clearly I easily descended into paranoia at this time). The full impact of 9/11 didn't really hit me until 8th grade. For English class we read stories of 9/11, stories of heroism by people who were seemingly "ordinary." Most of my classmates started crying and I was near tears myself. Many of us didn't recall 9/11 so this was our first direct confrontation with it.

What do you remember?

As for this silly fear of all Muslims being terrorists. STOP IT. It's a ridiculous notion and people need to calm down. America is a land where we respect people's rights (it just takes us a long time to get there), we have freedom. Don't darken the name of America.

9/11 YA PoC Books

Love Is The Higher Law by David Levithain

Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger

Educate Yourself

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Borderline by Allan Stratton


  1. i was in the sixth grade and definitely remember that day and where I was. I agree about not stereotyping all Muslims as well. it's horrible. I posted about a book here:

  2. I think a lot of us descended into paranoia after 9/11 happened. I was in college and I remember my ex-boyfriend telling me he was thinking about enlisting. My friends who had cars all went out to fill up their tanks and lines were down the street at gas stations because no one knew what was going to happen.

  3. The fact that you review books about Muslims without judgment is one of the things that initially drew me to your blog. You can't fight hate with hate, as we humans can't seem to understand! I wrote my post here:

    (Please comment and link to yours, Ari!)

  4. I was in eleventh grade, and in my AP Psych class. We had actually already finished with our class work for the period and our teacher was letting us read/chat/work on homework when he got a call and then turned on the news, just in time for us to see the second plane hit. Before anyone could figure out what was happening (we all thought it was Chicago, since being in west Michigan that was the nearest big city), the bell rang to send us to our next class, and the next period the principal gave a brief announcement about the crash in NYC (I don't think we knew about any of the others yet), but said the day was going to continue as usual. I didn't get any more information until the final period of the day, when the art teachers were protesting the administration's decision by turning on the news and letting us quietly do what we wanted - draw, write, or just watch the TV. I then went home I recorded a whole VHS tape of CNN coverage. I become mildly obsessive about news when disasters strike.

    I live in NYC now and every day I get to witness the qualities of acceptance and understanding that really make me proud to be an American. The current anxiety about the Community Center is just heartbreaking for so many reasons. For every small act I witness that makes me proud to live here, there's someone else saying or even doing something ugly that reminds me we have so far to go.

  5. Thank you for posting this.

    I was a senior in high school. I was in English class (I still have my notes from that class because I just can't throw them away). The principal came on the PA system and asked us to say an Our Father (it was a Christian school) because two planes had flown into the towers. Our teacher in that class wouldn't let us turn on the TV, but in the classes that followed and all during lunch, that's all we did: watch the news.

    I'm an American Muslim and it was the scariest day of my entire life. I was scared and shocked and angry like every other American and then I had the added worries of being Muslim and wondering what people would think about me or do to me. I was convinced in all seriousness all American Muslims would be put in internment camps like the Japanese during WWII. I remember just days after 9/11, we had a close family friend die in Canada. We went to the funeral, and the entire time at the border and beyond, my family was being extremely circumspect, so convinced we were going to get arrested or something. It was insane.

  6. I was in Chicago working in the Wrigley Building downtown that day. Your paranoia that Chicago might be next was one we were all feeling in the city that day, because the fourth plane (the one that went down in PA) was rumored to have been headed for the Sears Tower (though it was actually headed for the Pentagon, we later found out). It was a rough day for everyone everywhere, though of course in New York and D.C. it was even worse.

    They evacuated downtown Chicago. I was one of the last to be evacuated, because my boss at the time just couldn't believe it was that serious. They were older, and had lived through Pearl Harbor, and kept saying that this was nothing compared to Pearl Harbor. But when they evacuated the building and made us leave, I think my bosses realized how serious it was. I spent the rest of the day watching the news, myself.

    Within the next few days, we had Chicago PD and FDs out gathering donations for the families of the firefighters who died in the towers, and we had a huge rally outside the Tribune Tower that was half of downtown Chicago, all in silence. It was a brief moment of unity and peace that I don't think we've seen in our country since, and what an awful set of circumstances to get us to feel that way, you know?


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