Amelia Possanza is a senior at Swarthmore College. She’s particularly interested in journalism and in the stories people have to tell. Her 9/11 story starts in school.
Below are Amelia’s recollections. Listen or read the audio transcripts:
I guess I was really young when it happened, I was ten years old. It was probably my second at middle school so it felt very abrupt that I didn’t know what was going on because I was in middle school, I was in a new environment because of that but I was also suddenly shoved into having to think about national and international politics all of a sudden. What happened is that a lot of my peers, my friends, or even people I don’t know, everyone has something to say about the topic you know, I think almost every year when it’s September 11th again I find myself at a meal at a college dining hall with my friends and people will start in on what were you doing this day and everyone has a story.
A different way to tell the story:
I remember one time I was at an airport in Boston and a mother was trying to explain 911 to a very very young child who might not have even been born when it happened. I thought that was a very interesting moment to see that there was someone outside of that and to think about how do we tell that story to someone that is much younger so not only did they not live through it but they’re also sort of not ready to hear the full version of the story as I understand it we need to sort of create a different story that we can tell.
How do we remember?
One of the other things that we talk about a lot is people over the years seem to be forgetting about it to some extent or that when we were in high school we had a bell system and every year when the anniversary came up they would use the bell system to start and end a minute or two or even 5 of silence as a remembrance. Maybe that’s still happening in high schools but it’s not happening in our lives anymore because we’re not in that highly regulated environment where people can be like okay be quiet now okay you can talk again, there’s no one in our lives telling us that.
Produced and edited by Elisabeth Perez Luna