Everyone is saying where they were. I was in school. Nobody would tell us what was happening. Nobody would let the teachers turn on the TV. We were kept in the dark. I didn't even know both towers were gone and destroyed until three-thirty in the afternoon. I didn't even know it was terrorists until after lunch. I didn't know about the other two planes until four. I've never quite forgiven my high school for that. I was in elementary school when the Murrah Federal Building got bombed--and I actually did hear that explosion when it happened, despite living thirty minutes away. We didn't watch the news, but they paused class and a teacher came in, explained what had happened, and did their best to make sure we weren't clueless and to let anyone who might have had family in the area go call said family to try and see if they were all right. I was nine.
My high school actively forbade the teachers from telling anyone what was happening. Some kids left class in a panic when they found out what happened through second-hand knowledge because they had family or friends in New York and didn't know what was happening.
I remember crying. I remember crying the most when hearing the news about Flight 93. I still cry when I think about that one enough.
I remember the few months of intense focus and unity we all had, and then I remember the rapid spiral right back into the splintered mess of "IT'S THE DEMOCRATS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS TRAGEDY" vs "IT'S THE REPUBLICANS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS TRAGEDY", and I remember the random finger-pointing and my general disgust for it all. And that last bit is why I am going to spend this day at home, avoiding television and news sites, and being alone in my own quiet reflection.