I had grandiose dreams about writing a long essay about how 9/11/2001 changed me. I never really found the words. Here's a brief account of what I wanted to say, on the fifth anniversary:
On September 11, 2001, at about 9:30 AM, I was in Mr. Haskell's Senior Religion/Theology class. Then, Principal Mullen made an announcement - "Two planes have hit the World Trade Center in New York. If you have family you need to contact, please come to the office." I asked if it was a drill - it seemed too outlandish, too violent to be true.
The class continued, but we started talking about the Just War theory. In my next class, Latin, we went to the library and watched the second tower fall.
I won't lie, living in Maine makes one feel safe and secure. Violence is an exception, not a rule. I lived my life in the belief that nothing bad could happen in America - wars, bombs, hijackings, and chaos were all international. I was innocent. I definitely lost a lot of my innocence that day. I also lost what I thought was a guarantee of a safe life.
(Slate has a graphic novel depiction of the 9/11 report.)