I don't know a single person who doesn't remember the exact moment they found out about the planes hitting the twin towers. I was in 7th grade, my friend and her father had come to pick me up for school. As we climbed into the car, her father told me that before they left the house they had seen the announcement on TV. Being the naive 12 year old that I was, the impact of the situation didn't fully hit me. It wasn't until first period where all the students were gathered up in the gym to watch the news reports... I remember sitting on the cold hard gym floor watching report after report with footage showing the planes hitting the towers, slowly realizing what a terrible and horrific thing had happened.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to New York with my mom and my sister. We took a red eye flight in, and arrived there early in the morning on 9/11. After a full day of sight seeing, our last stop of the evening was the world trade center memorial. I can't explain the feeling of reverence that surrounded the place. Reading the names on the plaques, seeing the flowers that were placed there by their loved ones, seeing the sheer mass of the building footprints. It was a sad and humbling experience, but I am glad to have had it.