I didn’t know the planes had hit the World Trade Center till after I went on the computer that morning. We never turned the tv on till after lunch, so we didn’t see the news that morning. I went online to talk to my friend, the man I had fallen in love with, although neither of us realized it at the time. He told me, and the images were there on the screen – the plane hitting the tower, and then the second plane hitting, and the news of the Pentagon being hit, and the plane in the field in Pennsylvania.

I cried. I couldn’t believe this was happening to my home, that there were people in the world who hated us so much that they would do such a horrible thing – and celebrate it as a victory of some sort. How could they hate us, when they didn’t even know us? How could people think so badly of a country that always had seemed so full of joy, so big, so confident, so filled with light? I couldn’t make sense of it.

I didn’t realize how badly shaken I was till I was driving to school a few weeks later, and a plane flew overhead -circling to land at the airport. I had to pull over. I was shaking and screaming “GO AWAY!”

And I cried – again.

I’ve given them enough tears. I didn’t lose my family – that day. I didn’t lose any friends. I’m very grateful for that.

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