September 11, 2001
A day I, nor anyone cognizant of world events, shall ever forget. I was pregnant with my son Sione, walking around a little bread store near the home that I grew up in, when I understood that something was wrong.
The radio, normally tuned to country music, was tuned to the news and people looked very distressed. I asked the clerk what was happening and she told me that an airplane had hit a tower in New York, I thought how terrible that was for them then went home to tune to the news and call my mom.
At home I saw on the television the image of the plane hitting the tower, over and over. I talked to my mom about it and then sat to watch the footage, it was so surreal that I couldn't believe it was happening, not really. When the other plane hit I thought "what next?"
The news of other planes headed towards other targets, including one that hit the Pentagon and one headed towards the White House, made me feel as though the entire country was at risk, that anything could happen anywhere. I worried about my children in their classrooms, I didn't want them to know about what had happened, they were so young.
That was Sept. 11th for me. The after effect was seeing flags everywhere, walking around at school and looking in other peoples faces, knowing that they knew. The subdued feeling at Wal-Mart as I walked around with my dad later on, it felt like everyone had just come from a funeral. People collected money to donate to the victims, people gave blood, everyone hugged their family members a little tighter after that.
We were regaled with the footage over and over again on the news until I felt I would puke from the constant reminder. I kept the TV off, it was just too overwhelming.
Eventually, the fervour stopped, the flags posted outside of car windows were ripped to shreds by the wind and eventually put away. Things, and people went back to normal with everyday concerns crowding in over the extraordinary occurrence of that day.
A day, that connected us all, a day that if mentioned will bring to mind the common remembrance.
The thread that has bound Americans and has come to mean many things to us all. It is a tragedy though at its core and will ever be.