It was Sept. 11, 2001 and I was getting ready for another day of Grade 6. 11-year-old me turned on the TV to watch cartoons before the school bus came.
I selected 'Dennis the Menace' on the guide, but what came up was not a cartoon.
I saw a burning building and I was confused. Maybe the guide was wrong. So I went to anther channel, but it was the same thing. I started listening to the newscasters and reading the feeds at the bottom of the screen.
"Mom! Some plane flew into some building."
My mom had no idea what I was talking about. I had no idea what I was talking about.
Once I got to school, we were cut off from the play-by-play on the TV. We didn't have classroom TVs, so instead we listened to our teacher, Mr. Lee, telling us what happened.
It's all very vivid for a ten-year-old memory, especially of an event that happened when I was 11. I didn't get it at the time, but looking back, that's what opening my eyes to the realities - not even the cruelties - of the world.
At 11 I was a smart kid. I read a lot, especially Reader's Digests. I watched ER with my mom on Thursdays. As a bookworm and a loner, I knew what intolerance was. But this? This blew everything off my scale of recognition. It was then I realized that there was more outside of my little bubble, and it wasn't all good, either.
I've never really paused to think about that day like I did today, on the tenth anniversary. I have never flown in a commercial plane without having to put my gels and liquids in a plastic bag. I have never known no great villain than al-Qaeda, even if I never felt a personal threat.
I don't have a personal connection to 9/11 aside from this memory. But it was something that changed the world - and my world - and for that, I remember.