I remember the day very vividly. In the middle of my middle school math class, the teacher was told to turn on the radio. The entire class stopped as we heard the announcement. Planes had crashed into the Twin Towers in New York.
My old friend and I were picked up from school. We were told by his parents, “No one is safe.” Every television channel was playing the same footage on a loop for the entire day. I was only twelve, and although I had experienced the cold hand of death on a personal level, the sheer concentration of it was all too new for me.
In years prior I had assumed a perfect invulnerability, this was America after all. Things like that didn’t happen here. They happened in other places in the world, sure. But not here. Not in our own backyard.