Rolling out of bed, I stumbled across my bedroom to my silver TV. After missing the “on” button twice, the screen came to life. Still rubbing my eyes, I scrolled through the channels till I reached KTLA Channel 5, my usual morning news program of choice. Just as my brain kicked in that September morning, I heard the news: A plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. At 16 years old I wasn’t the savviest teenager on world events, but I knew this was huge. I called my mother into my room and a second after she stepped through my door, the second plane hit. “I just got the chills,” my mother said.
As I’m sure every American did this Monday, I replayed my memories of that day through my mind as I watched program after program dedicated to that historic day. I still have a keen memory of the day’s events.
In my second week as a junior in high school, I followed a routine every morning, except instead of singing along to KIIS FM; I listened as the radio told me of the towers’ fateful fall. And instead of concentrating on schoolwork, our teachers gave up-to-date information on the day’s events.
Before the attacks, I had always wondered if I would live to see such a catastrophic event. My parents told stories of where they were when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. And my grandparents could easily recall the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.
The notion of my grandparents living to see three of these history-bending events makes me wonder, and fear, if I will be able to say the same 50 years from now.
Over and over Monday the American media asked the same question: How have we changed?
The question made me reflect my world five years later. Given that most of my airborne traveling experience occurred after 2001, I saw little difference in airport security.
Also, having never visited New York, I could not fathom the ghostly absence of those magnificent towers.
So, overall, hardly anything in my life seemed to change after Sept. 11.
But, one change was evident: the loss of innocence. The attacks made the possibility of terrorism in America real in this day and age. American suffering was no longer trapped in a dusty history book, it could happen and it did happen in my lifetime.
The threat of violence will be an implied reality for my future children. Sept. 11 for them will be the same as Pearl Harbor or JFK’s assassination was for me growing up: a history book entry.
They say America will never forget Sept. 11, and I believe that is absolutely true.
The families of victims and the city of New York, will forever be reminded.
The media will never let this day pass with mundane news stories; there will always be one remembrance piece.
And without a doubt, the events of Sept. 11 will be found in countless movies and television series to come.
Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center” and Paul Greengrass’ “United 93” has already broken the barrier for the entertainment industry.
Although few from my generation and those after can recite the exact day and year of other crucial moments in history when the nation remembered where they were, those who experienced it can share their stories.
And the same will be said for Sept. 11 one day.
Even though that day may become embedded in history books and glorified in cinema, it will somehow be remembered through stories passed down.
Nicole Knight, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.