Twelve years ago at 8:45 a.m. in the morning, I was in freshman history class. It was just a morning, like any other. What I didn't know is that in just one minute history would change forever as a plane came crashing into the World Trade Center in New York City.
They stopped class when it happened. They brought us into another classroom with a T.V. (back then not every class had a television) and had us watch as news pundits speculated on whether this was a freak crash or if it was possible that this was part of a larger attack on America.
By 9:03 a.m. we had our answer, as the second plane came whizzing into the tower and we watched on live T.V. the disaster and tragedy that had taken over America's most iconic city.
You have never seen a room of 13 and 14-year-olds so quiet then at that moment when that plane struck the tower. Then the news pundits started talking about terrorism and Al-Qaeda and even though these terms are commonplace now, then they weren't. There had never been an attack like 9/11.
Some parents came to school to pick up their kids and others waited until they came home to hug them because we all knew that more than 2,000 other people would not be returning home to hug their loved ones that night.
The destruction filled the paper the next day. It was a Wednesday. I will never forget it. I knew that morning as the sun came up, I was waking up in a different world, a world that had forever been changed in the matter of a couple hours.
The nation went to war, a war that would go on for over a decade. This war would touch millions as their sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers went overseas to defend the very fabric of our nation. To fight for the honor of every life that had been lost on 9/11.
When I graduated high school a lot of the boys I was in school with signed up for the armed forces and were deployed shortly there after. My best childhood friend would go on to serve 3 tours in Iraq and some people I know will never stop mourning for the son or daughter they lost in Afghanistan of Iraq.
Through all the sacrifice, I have never heard these people complain. Despite the tremendous personal loses so many endured no one ever felt that it was in vain. Our men and women overseas fought and some died for our men and women here on shore. No one will forget.
And as the anniversary of 9/11 rolls around we will all take a moment to remember. To remember those whose lives were lost on 9/11 or in the wars to follow, to remember how our lives were forever changed, and to remember how our nation pulled together and became stronger that day twelve years ago when terrorists made the mistake of challenging what America is made of.
Dee DeQuattro is the assignment desk manager and digital news manager for ABC6. She studied politics and communications and holds a master's degree from Providence College. Follow her on twitter @deedequattro and log on to ABC6 .com for her latest in depth coverage of politics and news.