"Literally I had no idea what the deal was with 9-11 when it happened."


A popular lifestyle blogger shared Thursday how the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks gets "more emotional" for her every year. 


Katie Bower, a 35-year-old mother of five from Atlanta, Georgia, told her 52,000 Instagram followers that this year was "no exception." She recalled that she was editing photos of her family's trip to the rodeo when she "just LOST it. Like ugly cry."

Bower, who was in her late teens in 2001, was not directly affected by the terrorist attacks that horrified the world and led the nation into two protracted wars.


Nevertheless, the experience of learning about them has been trying. 


It was only a year after the attacks, she said, that she found out people had actually been in the Twin Towers when planes struck them.


"I told y'all about how literally I had no idea what the deal was with 9-11 when it happened (I was a stupid airhead at the time that didn't realize that people were actually in the buildings ) and it didn't hit me until a year later that so many people died," she said. 


"And now to be more aware of that situation — to understand... for the folks who lost someone. And I couldn't imagine... couldn't process... couldn't handle the day."

Nor did Bower initially understand that the Twin Towers were skyscrapers located in New York, she said in a follow-up comment on her post. 


"I didn't know what kind of buildings they were or even where they were!" she said. "Honestly I thought they were like AmericasMart [exhibition center] here in Atlanta."


Bower said that being behind the curve was part of what made the journey so difficult. 


"It felt filled with poignant moments of grief and remorse and honestly some shame — because who is that stupid?!" she said.


At the time of the attacks, Bower explained, she was a two-sport college athlete and lived a "life in a bubble."


"I didn't have a tv and I didn't have a newspaper in college," she said in another comment. "It was a weird time in my life when allI did was study and practice and sleep and work and work out and go on walks with boys."


Some Instagram users were sympathetic to Bower's slow discovery of the events of Sept. 11, which collectively amounted to the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil in US history. Nearly 3,000 people were killed when al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked and crashed four passenger flights, including into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. 


"There's nothing wrong with being so naive that you can't fathom the gravity of something so completely horrible," one person wrote in a comment. "Your brain will only comprehend whats in its realm of possibility. That obviously wasn't for you. There's a beauty in that. Hugs. I hate that it had to change for you and so many others."


But others -- perhaps sharing ​widespread ​concerns about her generation's naïveté and ​decision-making -- were less forgiving. 


"Katie I think a lot of the people sympathizing with you not understanding 9/11 think you were a child at the time? You were in your 20s? Let this 'truth' go, it's embarrassing for you to not "know,"' someone observed. 


Another person suggested, "Maybe next year, just acknowledge the day and those who lost loved ones and leave the part where you center yourself out."