12 years since the horrific tragedy that claimed so many lives. The simple Tuesday that was to be September 11, 2001. Just another morning that so quickly turned into the morning that would change the world forever.
Just like any other school day, my younger sisters and I were sitting on the couch, watching Sagwa on PBS. We looked to the clock periodically in order to monitor our time before school. The sun crept in through the windows, not a cloud in the sky – it was shaping up to be a gorgeous day. My mom was awake and had joined us in the family room, followed by my dad who immediately told us to turn on the news. As we fumbled around for the remote, he explained his phone call with my grandma seconds before the interruption in our morning routine. A plane hit the World Trade Center, she told him. I wasn’t sure of what it meant, my 5-year-old sisters had no idea what was happening, and then we looked to the television screen. Smoke, fire, a second plane on its way into a tall building I had never seen nor heard of before.
Arriving at school shortly after watching what I assumed was the end of the world, the start of a war, it all being the same to me then – I was terrified. My classmates crowded around every student who walked through the door, asking if they heard the news. The radio was on and there was a dull roar throughout the classroom. Some of my classmates were trying to grasp the morning’s news. I remember telling a few of my friends my right elbow was double-jointed that day. We all handled it differently. 9-years-old, worried, confused, and wanting nothing more than to be back in the safety of my home with my family. It’s how I remember 9/11.
Every year since the tragedy, I’ve turned to the news for answers. I watch specials on firefighters, police officers, those who lost loved ones in the madness. How something like this could happen to the “land of the free and the home of the brave” I still struggle to understand. We weren’t invincible and that scared me. But we were united, and that gave me hope.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”- Fred Rogers
Being 21-years-old, I look back on the horrible events that took place on September 11, 2001, and it saddens me. I don’t believe there will be a time in which this isn’t a dark day in the history of our beautiful, beautiful country. While this may be the case, there will always be an abundance of hope, patriotism, and love. These are the feelings that overcome the dark days of our past. My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones on this tragic day. I am thankful that America is a country equipped with heroes who protect us on a daily basis – giving us the freedom and safety that has allowed us to thrive. We live in a country that rose from the ashes – spirited, vibrant, and greatest of all, we rose from these ashes together.
God Bless America.