What's the first major news event that you remember hearing about as a child? Where did you learn about it? How did it impact your world view?
September 11th, 2001.
I can remember coming home from school and seeing it on the news. The sight of people jumping off of a building, thousands of stories up and choosing, from a choice of burning alive and leaping to their deaths, choosing to die by meeting with the ground - thirty seconds of freefall to hit the ground at ninety miles an hour... The next day, my family brought newspapers, and I can remember reading them, poring over pictures and stories of the single most defining moment in the world in my life.
It still makes me cry now.
I'm not an American. I don't know what it must have been like, the fear and the horror of watching symbols of the American dream come down. I don't know what it must have been like to be there, panic rife and not knowing if it was going to be a Hiroshima disaster. I cannot imagine it must be like to have lost family in that disaster zone, and never being able to get closure. I cannot begin to concieve how angry and emotional it must have felt, knowing someone willfully and delibrately stepped onto a aeroplane and then flew it into a building full of innocents. I cannot begin to fathom how people though that it was the right thing to do - taking the lives of innocent victims because it's 'in the name of God/Allah.'
I cannot even come close to imagining what it was like to be there.
But I can honestly say, that day?
It shook my belief in humanity.