Remembering 9/11: 19 Years Later

Good Morning Fan Friends,

Let’s travel back in time: The year is 1997. I remember being 8 years old and visiting the Statue of Liberty with my Father. I always had this cute little obsession with the Twin Towers: whenever we’d visit family in New York or my Mom’s friend Kathy in her apartment in the city I’d watch the twin towers in the skyline until they disappeared from view. I loved the one with the antenna (the North Tower-don’t ask me why I just thought it was cool) My best friend Jen had visited with her Dad and I remember asking my parents if I can visit the observation deck and just look out on the city and I was always told “sure, we’ll definitely do that one day”.

So there I was on the ferry over to Liberty Island and I remember looking up at those great big towers and thinking “wow! They are so tall, strong and mighty!”. I’m 31 today and I will always remember the childlike innocence of being 8 and thinking NYC (especially the twin towers) was invincible.

Now, let’s go forward in time. The year is 2001. I remember with the eyes of a 12 year old the weirdness of 9/11, 19 years ago today. It was a beautiful, mostly sunny day and the sky was so blue. I remember being in 7th grade and watching the morning news with my Mom in which I saw my last glimpse of the skyline on Eyewitness News before I skipped off to school for what would be the strangest school day of my life.

I remember my classmates leaving early, the teachers with glassy eyes and disbelieving faces and I remember my middle school principal Mr. Baxter coming in and saying “Is everyone alright?”. I remember how none of my teachers put on the TV although I heard some did, and having this creepy silence on the bus ride home. I remember carrying my purple plastic French binder (the nerve cause that was the only teacher who gave me homework that day and a lot of it), getting off the bus and seeing my Mom and her friend Marie on my front lawn looking very sad and serious. I also remember seeing what happened on the tv, watching those towers disappear from my view forever. Watching people jump like ants out of windows just to get out of the inferno that raged inside.

I remember the blood and distraught faces of survivors and spectators as they ran from the smoke that swallowed up the city like a cloud of volcanic ash, the firefighters on the screen running in, many of which would never come back out (including my future father in law’s cousin Tommy), I remember the faces of each victim that has flashed on my tv ever since that day. I remember feeling such sadness and pain at the loss of life and crying with my parents.

I also remember the feeling of hope-when England played our national anthem my entire family watched from the couch crying, I remember how United we all stood as Americans, how proud we were to live in the greatest country on Earth.

It’s sad how divided we are today politically, how we have people not feeling safe in the country they call home and people either being too sensitive or not sensitive enough. When I think of a post 9/11 world, I think of the immediate unification of all Americans and I think we need that more than ever in this country right now. We can honor those who lost their lives in the senseless attacks by being good to one another. One of the things I appreciated as I looked at 9/11 from a more adult and historical standpoint was the stories that came out of people helping people-people LOVING people as God would want us all to. It does not matter our age, our race, our religious beliefs or lack there of we are all God’s children regardless. So many people saw God’s love in action through total strangers on that day.

May we never forget this and try our damnest to aspire in creating an atmosphere of unity like it again. That said, God bless the victims and their families who find strength each day in their absence to go on with their lives.

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