Prior to keeping my online journal (aka blog), I had a real journal that I wrote in religiously. Actually, make that five real journals that are chalk-full of high school drama, boys, self-image problems, family and friend woes, and anything else that happened during high school.
I saved them all and sometimes it’s fun to go back and read them. In today’s case, it was a reality check. I’ve been writing here for more than five years, but I checked my archives and I’ve always skipped over the most momentous day in my history: 9/11. Until now.
I opened my journal carefully—it’s starting to fall apart after all these years—and went back to September 11, 2001. I wasn’t at a loss for words back then, but I felt I needed to do something, so I did the only creative thing I could think of at the time. I made a flag out of nail polish and white-out. And then I wrote.
I wrote about what was happening and what I was thinking at the time. Reading about it now, my thoughts weren’t the most coherent and I didn’t mention much about how I was feeling or where I was when I found out—World History class of all places—but I like reading it now.
|Wow, check out that massive typo. Yikes.
I talked about how everything shut down and the world was standing still. I spoke of how I felt about the possibility of my friends going off to war—oh, if I knew then what I know now, that I would marry into the military!
And then I wrote about something that surprises me today. I wrote about our Homecoming dance that was taking place that coming weekend. Homecoming. A dance. I wrote about a dance and how I was worried I wouldn’t have a date. Really? Really, Jessica?
I guess that shows that life went on and continues to go on. Terrible tragedies occur and the world—America—can join together and become united during a horrible crises, but life goes on.
Honestly, though, I’m kicking myself for not writing about how I was feeling during that time, so I may go back and add a page to my journal.
I remember being terrified and scared for “aftershocks” and copycats. I remember hurting and aching for the families and how my friends and I joined together and felt close because of that experience. I remember a girl in my math class getting a phone call and running out into the hall crying.
A few months after 9/11, New York was trying to get their tourism back so radio stations were offering contests with free trips to NYC. My mom won a trip out there and we all went. We were standing at Ground Zero the day they removed the last piece of debris from the Twin Tours. I remember a memorial wall that was as large as a city block. I also remember standing at a coffee shop severl blocks—possibly even up to a mile—away from Ground Zero and seeing at least an inch of ash/dirt from 9/11.
We will never forget.