9/11 Reflections

Reading Thomas Pynchon’s passage of the 9/11 incidents gave me chills. I was only in third grade when this tragedy occurred and although I did not fully understand the implications of it at that time, I remember that day very vividly. My friend, Alessa, was unexpectedly picked up early from school which was very strange. Then the Vice Principal had come to take my teacher out of the room and tell her what had happened to the World Trade Center. Class had then resumed as normal until the end of the day since we did not know anything had happened. However almost everyone’s parents had come to pick them up from school. My dad picked me up and I very distinctly remember him explaining to me what had happened and then listening to the news on the radio on the way home. My family watched the news all that evening. I didn’t completely understand all of it but I think I could grasp that there would be serious implications as a result. Fortunately it did not affect me or my family first hand and I was able to go to school the next day and carry on with my 3rd grader life where my biggest fear was getting cooties on the playground.

Even though Pynchon’s account of 9/11 was very brief, I feel it captured that moment in history very accurately. It is hard to believe that this was 13.5 years ago already.

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2 Responses to 9/11 Reflections

  1. bagelbite13 says:

    I had a somewhat similar experience. I was also in third grade. It was my second day of school. (It started late that year.) We were being taught a lesson by our new teacher when another teacher abruptly walked in the classroom and whispered in our teacher’s ear. The look of shock on my teacher’s face, her immediate utterance of “Oh, oh no. That is not good,” it stayed with me forever. We were young, but we weren’t stupid. We begged and pleaded for our teacher to let us know what happened but her only response was that our parents would tell us when we got home. That was the last she spoke of it the entire school day.

    That night, my parents told me what happened. I couldn’t believe it…And I also couldn’t comprehend it. The next couple weeks, I watched CNN constantly. There were rumors of war. I was so excited that America was going to war. 14 years later, I can’t believe we’re still in that war. My cousin fought in that war. The majority of my life, America has been at war. It has become normal.


  2. cso9 says:

    Going off of that, I almost felt like the briefness of Pynchon’s description of the incident was parallel to my understanding of it at the time. It all just happened so quick. Even in the novel, despite how as readers we are already familiar with the scenario, Pynchon has this ability to take us back to that feeling of unknowing and shock.

    I had a similar experience as the two of you. I recall that I was in the 3rd grade, I can remember a flash of the classroom, but I do not remember what exactly happened. Instead of being able to visually recollect the events, I can just experience an overwhelming feeling of despondency. It really is hard to grasp that was already 13 and a half years ago.


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