Today we will remember where we were.
I was a junior in high school, in a home ec class. I heard a girl mention to someone else that a plane crashed into a big building in New York. The next period, in my Comm 2 class, we heard more details. After that, in my Journalism class of all places, the tv was on and we saw the footage. We were scared. Nobody knew what was going on, where was to be hit next. That night I laid on my stomach in front of the tv on my parent's pink living room carpet, crying. I couldn't stop watching. I don't remember much else from that day besides my time spent confused and sad in front of the tv.
The days following, our high school put together some patriotic t-shirts and everyone wore red, white and blue one day. There were flags everywhere.
Two years later, in a very unstable and stressful time in my life I flew to New York on my first flight ever. I'd graduated high school and I was flying to spend some time with my Aunt, Uncle and baby cousin in New York. As my plane approached La Guardia, it banked close to Manhattan, lowered through some fog and I got my first view of the city. My stomach ached. My throat burned. I couldn't help but think of what those people on the planes must have been thinking.
On one trip to NYC that month, my Uncle took me to Ground Zero. My heart aches thinking about how heavy the air felt that day. An old man played Amazing Grace on his flute on the corner like it was out of some fictional, dramatic movie. There were people crying. And the gravity of just how big it all was really sat with me until this day.
9/11 had a different impact on everyone. Some people chose to remember the bravery and sacrifices of the police and fire fighters and everyone who helped during that horrible time. But I can only remember it with sadness. I'm sad this had to happen. I'm sad so many people lost their lives in one of the worst ways imaginable. I'm sad for all of the families who live with the loss of their loved ones. I'm sad we live in a world where these things happen.
So today I will say a prayer for all of the lost loved ones. I'll say a prayer for this world, that the hate and prejudice and fear and lies and greed will one day be trumped by love and acceptance and peace. I'll say a prayer that my sweet little boys never live through something like this in their lifetime. And I'll hug them closer.