Ten years ago, I remember precisely where I was, what I did and most importantly, learned just how quickly life as I knew it could change.
Today, I sense an increasing urgency to put my memories into writing. Memories from that day have faded over time more quickly than they should.
That Tuesday morning, I decided to stay home from school. School had been in session for about 3 weeks and life already felt stressful. As a 16 year old, little did I know just how insignificant my stress was at the time. My academic load and extracurricular activities had already begun to wear me down. I remember going to bed later than usual on Monday night and feeling as if my body was fighting a cold. Half asleep, I had already made the decision to stay home the next day from school.
I dreamt vividly that night. A dream that meant nothing yet scared me enough to make me think it could have been real. I dreamt that there had been a bomb planted at our school and we were all unable to walk to the football field which was our safe zone, as we had practiced with our weekly bomb threat drills. The rest of my dream is now just a figment of my fading memory but I do remember waking up scared, my heart pounding as if something had gone horribly wrong.
My mom was at home with me, like she would have been any other day. Immediately, I recounted my dream to her and she comforted me. It’s just a dream.
It was 8:46 a.m. and we stood in disbelief. Was it on the radio or on our 13″ television? This is where I wish my memory was sharper. All I knew was from that moment on, life suddenly seemed fragile. Even with my invincible perception of life, I knew this wasn’t a dream. Evil existed and it was real.
Every story from that day has a different ending. Life went on as I knew it and poetry became an outlet for all my emotions for years to come. Below is a poem I was inspired to write a few days after the tragic events.
My heart goes out to the families of all the victims. May the peace of God be with you, always. My heart is filled with gratitude for our brave servicemen. May the strength of God flow through your veins, always.