For another generation, it was Pearl Harbor or the JFK assassination. But for my generation, it was 9/11/01.
I remember getting ready to go to school, for the 8th grade. It felt like a typical morning ritual to get ready for school: shower, breakfast and watch some cartoons in the morning. My older brother is three years older than me, but we both went to school at the same time. So we woke up and got ready for school, ate breakfast and turned the television on for regular morning cartoons (like 6am or 7am).
Except, this morning we turned the television on to breaking news, watching a tall tower swarmed and swirling in black smoke, replays of explosions and airplanes flying into buildings. I was too young to really understand exactly what was going on, but I knew then I'll never forget that exact moment.
Later that day during school, someone over the intercom told us something like not to worry about the current events, and asked teachers not to turn on the television for us to see anything.
But because our nation was founded by rebels, my history teacher — no less — disobeyed the principal's plea. He turned the television on, and showed us what was happening, the news broadcasts and images.
"You guys are old enough now, and you should understand what's going on in your country."
Just thirty minutes ago I finished a late dinner. But before I ate, I stopped a second. I stopped a second to just consider and count my blessings for a bit, and gave thanks for this privilege to live in a blessed country, the United States of America.
I'll never forget.