Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later...

I, like many, cannot believe it's been ten years (already?). There are few incidents that I remember happening in my life to which I can say, "Oh, that was a decade ago." But I remember this day like it was yesterday.

I was on the couch at home, eating breakfast. My mom was awake, and was ironing something not far from where I was sitting. My best friend at the time called -- at first I was more confused as to why anyone was calling us just after 6 in the morning on a Tuesday. "MEG! Turn on the TV... NOW!" said her shaky and very adamant phone call. I turned on the TV with her still on the phone and remember looking at my mom, who then looked up and saw what I saw on the TV. I hung up the phone, and just sat. I remember scrambling to finish getting ready for school, and spending the day walking from class to class, but mostly sitting in journalism class and just glued to the TV. Moving to English and history, and just gaping, listening, in awe. Not sure what I was supposed to say, feel... or do.

I remember getting home later that day, and soon after mom got home from her day teaching. Among story after story and news clip after news clip, the only footage I remember to this day is the entire House of Representatives singing "God Bless America" and my mom and I sitting and crying on the couch. I remember her yelling at the TV, "WHO WOULD DO SUCH A THING?" And from there, it was a blur. More stories, more heroes, more losses. As a junior in high school, what could I do? From across the country, I felt like all I could do was listen, read the heartbreaking stories, and just feel for all those who had lost.

It's interesting now, ten years later, realizing that so many of the students I work with were no older than sixth grade in 2001. For so many, post-9/11 is all they know -- they only know of the increase in security at airports, of "the war on terror" and all that's come to be... normal. While there are only so many things I can remember of "before" and "after", I remember my dad going to Boston for a soccer game I think two weeks after 9/11. We left for LAX almost four hours before his flight; through the entire drive home with my mom and sister, I remember being terrified until he called and told us he made it okay to Logan and was en route to his hotel.

I insisted to Kim during my visit in March that we go by the WTC and 9/11 Memorial. I am so glad we did, and I definitely want to go by and see the finished pools and gardens. For everyone who lost that day, I still feel. For those that served and helped, whether in uniform or not, thank you. You are who make us proud to be Americans and for helping keep a country strong in such tragedy and grief. God Bless America.
This photo has always been one of my favorites - it says so much.

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