On September 11, 2001, I was 16 years old. I had just begun my junior year of high school and when I first heard the news, I was sitting in my first class of the day. A classmate had gone to the library and had seen something about an attack in New York City on a TV. At that time, about 9:15am central time, there were few details, and the crisis was still unfolding. I remember the multitude of feelings; shock, fear, sadness, and just not knowing what to think. I remember how security at airports and other places like that tightened over night. I remember how other big cities in America braced for more possible attacks, fearing that New York City was just the beginning. I remember the days and weeks following that fateful day being full of so many unknowns. I remember the struggle to put all the pieces together, and figure out how the events of that day ever even came to pass.
I remember the the videos of people running from the giant dust cloud that formed as the towers fell, images of firefighters climbing over the debris, and the Budweiser commercial where the horses bowed in front of the Manhattan skyline. I remember the large American flag that was hung on the outside of the Pentagon and the heroism of the people on United flight 93. The pictures and videos and heroic stories still give me chills and bring tears to my eyes to this day; 16 years later. And I still have to look away when I see the Twin Towers in an pre-9/11 movie or TV show. It’s difficult to find the right words to say in regards to such a tragedy, and I know that mine do not do it justice but, they’re genuine; and I suppose that is the best anyone can do.
Let us not only fulfill the promise to never forget, but also, forever be committed to continue putting good into the world, in honor of the good that was taken that day.
Until next time,