If there is one day that I take the time to collect my thoughts, write, cry, and remember … it’s today.
11 years ago I woke up early to start planning and celebrating my (then) boyfriend (now, husband) and I's six month anniversary. I turned on the TV as I was blow drying my hair and saw the tragedy unfolding before my eyes.
Like most people, when the plane hit the first tower, I thought it was a terrible accident. And then it occurred to me … and Cale … and my roommate, Michelle … this was no accident.
It was then, that I realized that what movie I wanted to go see ... what restaurant I wanted to eat at ... and what outfit I was going to wear ... was no longer important.
It’s hard to imagine that on a morning – very much like the one today (clear, blue, beautiful skies) – eleven years ago, everything changed in the matter of 102 minutes. I remember feeling sort-of dumbfounded. The next few hours were spent in shock trying to comprehend what kind of person could hate another enough to do this kind of thing. It was impossible to comprehend the massive loss of life that morning. The terror the people on the aircraft felt knowing they were about to die. And the shock and confusion people in the towers felt when suddenly something came crashing through the window.
I don’t know anyone that lost their lives that morning, but for anyone who lived through that moment and the days and the weeks after, were impacted in some sort of way. The world literally stopped that day. I hope that for the generations too young – like my children and their children, and so on – will be taught to remember what happened on this day by their parents and teachers … to not forget.
Never forget doesn't mean that if we do, that history will repeat itself. At least that's not what it means for me. Never forget means to remember the 2,977 people who got up the morning, on a morning very much like today, and went to work, having no idea that their lives would be tragically cut short.
So many people were impacted by that disaster, and it took years to bring those responsible to justice. But through it all, one thing became undeniably clear - Americans are strong, resilient people, and we pull together in the toughest of times.
9/11 was a horrible day ... yes ... but something special also happened that day. A spirit of giving and of survival emerged as countless numbers of firefighters, police, paramedics and everyday people started running into harms way to help.
Please take a moment to remember all of those who died, but also remember the heroes of that day. The men and women who ran into harms way so that others could live. And lastly thank the Firefighters, Police & Paramedics who still willingly risk their lives for us everyday.
Although things will never be the same, once again we proved we're a nation of survivors. And that's why we're the greatest nation on earth.