I was born on December 7th, otherwise known as Pearl Harbor Day. When I was in fourth grade, the teacher was talking about Pearl Harbor Day, and I was so excited when I realized that was my birthday, I raised my hand and said, That’s my BIRTHDAY!
No it’s not, the teacher said.
Yes, it is, I insisted. I might not have been in a family that celebrated birthdays, but I certainly knew which day of the year I could tick off another year of my life!
You’re too young to be born in 1941, the teacher said with a grin, and went back to her lesson. Being quiet and shy, I just wish she’d not so purposefully deflated my balloon.
I suppose my birthday should bring with it a lot of joy and happiness, but I can’t help but be kind of introspective on that day. Invariably there’s an article in the paper about the few surviving veterans, and what the day is all about.
Pearl Harbor Day.
A date which will live in infamy.
I think September 11th will be a similar day to my generation. We all know where we were when we found out about it. We all know how it felt. Anyone born on September 11th will no doubt feel a little like I do: happy to be alive, sorry that every year they are acutely aware of why that day is famous.
Will Entrekin wrote an excellent essay on what he was doing on September 11th (all proceeds from sales will be donated to the United Way New York City.)…why don’t you go read it and then come back and tell me what you were doing on September 11th. I’ll go first.
I had to go to work that day, as usual. I had a roommate who tends to exaggerate, so when she told me in shock that something had happened in New York, I was pretty sure it “wasn’t that bad” and told her so, rushing off to work. On my way there, the morning show I listened to was talking about it, and they kept repeating Oh my god, oh my god. Could this really be happening, I wondered? They couldn’t talk about anything else, and shortly after I got to work, my boss, who worked out of his home, let me watch the news coverage of the attack. Everything seemed surreal. I secretly hoped he’d let me go home, but I never asked and he never offered. I wanted to go home because I didn’t feel right doing something, anything, when so many people’s lives had just been flipped upside down.
September 11th is my generation’s date which will live in infamy.