Will every September 11th for the rest of my life feel like such a huge day? 11 years ago the world changed with the terrorist attacks. I was in 7th grade and was the perfect mix of very aware that something bad was happening and yet not aware enough to be a bundle of anxiety and panic. In my own little world, everyone knows what September 11th was. Everyone knows what happened, everyone knows the times, everyone knows the years. Apparently I am wrong. My roommate is teaching 7th graders right now and today she came home and informed me that a few of her 7th graders didn’t know what really happened on September 11th. They’d heard stories or read about it in the textbooks, but they didn’t really get it. At first I was shocked and appalled. But then I realized that these children were only a year old when the attacks occurred 11 years ago. They’ve grown up hearing about terrorism and the Middle East and the War on Terror. Much like I can’t really grasp the fullness of what happened during Pearl Harbor, these children only really know September 11th as a historical event, rather than a memory. Not me. I have my own account of that day, and my own vivid memories, which I shared last year in another blog post here. This year feels slightly different though. Back in June I had the opportunity to visit Ground Zero while in New York City. I had been before, back in 2006, when it was still debris, steel scraps, and some makeshift memorials. Going back now was a completely different experience. The tower was almost done being built, the memorial park was beautiful, and the museum was incredibly powerful. When I stepped into the memorial park I was immediately overcome with emotions. 2 large reflecting pools are set up where each tower used to stand. There are large stone plaques engraved with the names of the victims. To stand in front of those pools was powerful. It was so strange to think that this was once the site of such chaos and turmoil. People were standing in this exact spot, some in shock, some running, screaming, crying, looking for loved ones, etc. There were firefighters, policemen, and paramedics all saving lives in that park. I can’t imagine being there that day. I can’t imagine moving past that. I believe that if you were there that day, that would be one of those defining life moments where you categorize your life into pre 9/11 and post 9/11. I can’t imagine going one day without thinking about that fateful Tuesday. So let’s all remember to take a minute today, and everyday, to be grateful for what we have and the life we have been given. Not everyone makes it to tomorrow, so the fact that we’re still here today is a blessing.
|A helmet from the FDNY Battalion Chief|
|A timelife of events. I will never forget watching the 2nd plane hit live as it happened on the news.|
|The new One World Trade Center.|
|Tower One reflecting pool. A whole building that contained many lives once stood here.|
|One of the reflecting pools. God Bless America!|