September 11, 2001---
I woke up at my usual time, which I believe back then was around 7:00 a.m. I walked down the stairs for breakfast and found my mother and brother glued to the TV, watching the news. My family almost never watched the news while I was growing up, so that was surprising enough. My mother informed me that two planes had just crashed into the World Trade Towers (whatever those were); she and my brother had actually watched the second crash live. I watched several replays of the second crash while I ate breakfast, and then I went off to school and thought very little more about it.
Unlike many other schools, my elementary school (I was in 6th grade) didn't put everything on hold to watch the news. There was just some chatter about the event in the morning, and we all moved on. I didn't watch the towers collapse, and I saw very little footage of the aftermath. But what little I saw and heard about, I remember. I remember my naivete and how I didn't understand the severity and significance of that fateful day. I remember my father sitting me and my siblings down and explaining to us the devastating effects of the tragedy---the deaths, the injuries, the families without loved ones, the children without fathers. I remember sobbing uncontrollably as some small piece of my innocence was stripped away. I remember fasting on a day other than Fast Sunday for the first time in my life---fasting through an entire school day for those people who had to live without one or more loved ones. I remember 9/11.
And now today I've had the opportunity to watch a commemoration by Music and the Spoken Word and a documentary about 9/11 that tugged at my heart all over again. I've discussed with Jill the experiences we each had when we were just children and how that has affected both of our lives. We both agree that 9/11 feels like it just happened last week, and yet we also feel like we can hardly remember a time when the memory of 9/11 didn't hang over this country we love. We've marveled at how much can happen in ten years, how much we've learned and grown---from elementary school to middle school to high school to college, from primary to Young Women to Relief Society, from children to teenagers to adults. I still feel naive and innocent, unaware of much of the suffering and troubles of the world. But I will never forget that day 10 years ago. I will work hard to not take for granted the freedoms with which I'm so blessed today.
I will always remember 9/11