Today is a day of honor and remembrance. Ten years ago today, the attacks of 9/11 happened. Thousands of people lost their lives at the hands of terrorists, and thousands of lives changed forever. America changed forever. We are no longer as carefree as we once were, but that’s not to say we have forgotten how to be that way.
Americans live in fear now, fear of the unknown. It’s understandable as to why, but it should also be remembered how we were once were. We used to be a people of free movement, and free thinking. We didn’t have much care in the world, going on about our lives as if nothing could touch us, like nothing could change us. September 11, 2001 was a day of change, but we all came together as a whole to support, honor, and love those affected by the attacks. We joined together as a show of force, that we could not, and would not be brought down, that we were strong and would endure. We can be that way again. We can support, honor and love one another, even through every day life. I think that is an important lesson from that day.
I do not have a unique, or important story from September 11. I lived in Texas at the time, and worked at a daycare. I was feeding my class breakfast when a coworker walked in talking about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. We all thought that was horrible, such a tragic accident. I took my kids back to the classroom, and turned on my mini television to see what happened. Just for a moment, and then I would get to my kids. As soon as I turned on the television, another plane crashed into the second tower. I instantly felt fear, and sadness. I was not there, but could not turn off the television. I had to see what was going on, and make sure nothing else was happening across the country.
We didn’t do much of anything that day in my classroom. The kids played, and behaved really well. I watched the television in between small activities with the children. I couldn’t bring myself to turn the television off. I was wrong for doing this, but I do not regret it. It was important, I felt, to watch. I watched as news came of the Pentagon attack. I watched as the first tower collapsed, and then the second. I watched as news came of Flight 93, and how it went down in Pennsylvania. I remember feeling such a deep sadness and anger; I cried a lot that day, but only when the kids weren’t around. They didn’t know what was going on, and didn’t need to feel such sadness and fear.
I went out to lunch that day. I walked outside the daycare, and it was so quiet. Eerily quiet. No planes in the sky, hardly any cars out on the road, no construction, nothing. This is when I first remember feeling any kind of anxiety. I went to Whataburger, ordered my meal, sat in the dining area with several others. The news was on, but that was the only noise outside of wrappers unfolding, and food chewing. Nobody said anything. I do not think anyone knew what to say. We were all in shock, deep in thought, thinking of everyone involved, especially those that died.
I don’t remember when things started to go “back to normal.” I am not sure they ever did, really. Sure we all went back to our daily lives, but there was just something different in the air. We were all changed by the events of that day.
I do not know anyone personally that died that day, nor anyone that lost a loved one. That doesn’t mean I can’t love, honor, and support them all. Today is an important day for that, but it’s also important to love, honor, and support every day, and not just those from 9/11. We are a country divided, and have been deeply since that day. Let us remember how we came together, as a whole, to support those affected, and to show the world we were still standing, and strong. We can be that way again!
Today, I honor those that sacrificed to help save lives that day. I support those that lost loved ones. I promise to never forget those that lost their lives, and to always honor and support. They will never be forgotten.