My 9.11

Everyone is posting (correction, was posting) about 9/11. What it means to them. Where they were. What they hope for the future. But I couldn't bring myself to write something.... because I felt guilty.

I work in social media. Last week, I was (guilt alert #1) pre-scheduling posts for my clients to update on Sunday, in remembrance of the victims and such and I seriously found myself (guilt alert #2) wishing I knew what the 'official' hashtag for 9/11 would be. #sept11 #911? Isn't that terrible? I felt really terrible.

And then I kept hearing/reading all these touching stories and I thought back to what I was thinking that day in 2001... I was a freshman in high school and had just walked in to Mrs. Lorenz's history class. The TV was on and I (guilt alert #3) got excited because I thought we were going to watch a movie in class.

I, of course, was wrong, and instead we watched the footage on the news, watched the second plane hit and the towers fall. I don't remember much else from that day at school. I think they made an announcement over the speakers. I think we all were asking if anyone knew anyone that lived in NYC or worked in the towers. I know there was a rumor circulating that St. Louis could be a target.

But what I remember most (guilt alert #4) was that all after school activities were cancelled that day. I was on the dance team and we practiced pretty much everyday, so of course, I was psyched. I guess we were supposed to go home to our families, but a group of us rode in our friend's wood-panelled station wagon to Psghetti's and hung out instead.... like it was a normal day.

Isn't that terrible? I guess you have to cut me some slack. I was 14. I was in Missouri. I was so far removed from that world... or I thought so at least.

In the months that followed, there would be a lot of 'America' fan fare in my life - creating a giant American flag on the field at a Rams game; an American-themed dance routine that I performed about a million times (I will never listen to 'God Bless the USA' again without counting '2, 3, 4, flag' at the end). Those were some of my best and (guilt alert #5) worst memories of high school. I will admit, the first time I was on the football field after 9/11, hearing the national anthem, the wind blowing, silence all around us.... that's still a memory that gives me goosebumps.

But what did I do this year on 9/11(besides worrying about hashtags, of course)? I didn't watch any docs or go see the flags set up on Art Hill. I (guilt alert #6) went to brunch with some good friends from college, went to work for a bit, had dinner on Mokabe's patio, watched the True Blood finale. It wasn't just a normal day for me.... it was a good day.

You think people affected by 9/11 would want that? For me to have a normal day? A day that I didn't think about terrorism or homeland security or war? I don't know.

I do know that I liked what my sister Kristin wrote on her blog about 9/11 and what my friend Allison wrote on hers. We're all twenty somethings now, so our stories are similar.... but being 16, 14, and 12 seem a universe apart when you're that age doesn't it?

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