COLUMN: Children were kept in the dark during 9/11

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By Candis Carpenter

The memory of 9/11 is still fresh in the minds of many, even after 10 years. But for those minds that never really understood what happened, the confusion of that day is as memorable as the tragedy itself.
On Sept. 11, 2001, I woke up early to prepare for the day ahead. I don’t remember what I ate, what I wore or any conversations I had. I do remember it was a Tuesday and I was in the 7th grade. Tuesdays were my dad’s days to come pick me up – my favorite day of the week.
When the tragedy began to unravel at 8:47 a.m. (the time that the plane hit the north tower) I knew nothing.
There were no televisions on at school, no such thing as a smartphone, no intercom announcement and no e-mail alert – we were in the dark – students and teachers alike.
The mood at school was not somber, the school lunch that day was just as nasty as the day before and teachers were bickering at students like always.
Looking back now I’m sure the teachers knew, but if they did, they didn’t share it with the students. It’s my guess that no one knew yet what was really going on, so lips remained sealed.
Shortly after lunch, my mom signed me out of school. I didn’t know why and I didn’t really care, but during the drive home she told me that terrorists had attacked several places in the U.S.
What’s a terrorist? What do they want? Was it all a prank? I didn’t know.
All I remember after the fact is my mom telling my dad that under no circumstances was he allowed to take me to Wal-Mart. She said that it wasn’t safe because we were located so close to Fort Knox (we lived in Radcliff). Little does mom know, dad gives easy, and he did take me to Wal-Mart as I requested.
I know life changed dramatically after that tragic day. Fort Knox was no longer the family fishing spot due to increased security, airplane travel was an awful experience and Americans felt like prisoners in their own home.
However, one thing that American’s clung to in a time of tragedy was a sense of pride for their country and love for one another. I have never in my life seen so many American flags waving in the wind and true American spirit shining through.
With 10 years gone since the tragic events of 9/11 lets remember those lives lost, altered and forever changed on that September day.
A big thank you goes out to the firefighters, police officers, emergency service workers and all the unsung hero’s, including 911 dispatchers who were the first to hear the cries for help.