Mourning Light

Illustration for article titled Mourning Light

[New York, September 10. Image via AP.]

The Tribute in Lights are tested from a rooftop near ground zero on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 in New York. (AP Photo/Jin Lee)

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Whenever people reference events for which they will always remember exactly where they were, what was happening, I always thing of the JFK assassination. That was so long ago, and so much a part of our collective consciousness, that it is odd to me that I, too, have an event like that. I was not directly affected by the planes hitting the towers (I was in CT, and have family in NYC, but they were all safe), but I remember exactly how that day played out. I was a junior in high school, making up a latin quiz in the study room, when my math teacher walked in and said, "You won't believe this, but a plane just hit one of the towers!" We assumed it was a mistake. He walked in again those few minutes later to report the second plane. We ran to the library, where it was playing on TV. My U.S. History teacher, a big burly bro kind of guy, started crying when the towers collapsed. Other teachers wouldn't let us watch, and I remember at lunch, in the cafeteria, the lunch ladies let us come through into the kitchen so we could huddle around the radio and listen to the news. I think that most of all, a bunch of scared kids (some of whom had parents who commuted to NYC for work) and adults huddled around a radio, was an image so reminiscent of all the WWII books I'd read, it made me realize the significance and severity of the situation. I can't believe it's been 9 years, and everything that has occurred in the wake of the attack.