Eight years ago today Americans’ lives changed forever. September 11th, 2001 was a beautiful, sunny day like so many September days where the air and sky are a mix of summer warmth, and cool fall breezes. I remember it seemed like a very normal day for me as I awoke in my dorm room at boarding school, looked out the window at the clear skies, and gave thanks that it was such a beautiful day, because I had a riding lesson that morning. I didn’t have class for the first two periods, and I remember walking down to the mailroom in hopes of a care package in my box.
As I checked my mail, and rifled through a new J. Crew catalog, I remember looking up at the television, which by school rules must remain on a news station during class hours. At first I thought someone had broken the rules as I starred at the television, one tower had smoke coming from it, and a broadcaster was explaining a plane had flown into the World Trade Center, and all I could think was this must be some sort of movie I’ve never seen. I soon realized no, this was not a movie, this was reality, and I yelled. I don’t know why I yelled, as the mailroom and bookstore were in the basement, and there weren’t any people around, everyone else was in class, but I yelled. Two faculty members walked up, and together we watched in horror as the second plane flew into the other tower.
I don’t remember my emotions after that second plane hit, but I’ll never forget the feeling of confusion and fear as I heard the Pentagon had also been hit – my aunt had been working at the Pentagon around this time, but without my knowledge her job had recently moved to another location. Many of my friends’ fathers worked in downtown
We all remember that sunny September day, and where we were – some were driving, others slept in, at school, at work – where you were on that day is a memory we all will carry for the rest of our lives. By the day’s end the skies were black, and the once peaceful morning had turned into a tragic evening filled with loss, fear and grief. Years come and go, time flies by, and it is easy to let events become just another chapter in a history book. As Americans we must not let our day-to-day lives consume us to the point of forgetting the lives that were lost and the families torn apart as our nation was attacked.
Let us remember the fallen and honor the heroes on this day. Remember that freedom is not free, and be proud to be American. Feel blessed to have the freedoms we do, that enable us to lead the lives we do, because of the men and women that laid down their lives for us, and remember them as heroes.