Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years in a Post-9/11 World

Today is the tenth anniversary of a day that will "live in infamy" for my own generation, much like December 7, 1941 does for my grandparents' generation. It's been ten years since our country was attacked by terrorists seeking to destroy everything that America stands for. In many ways, I can't believe it's already been ten years. In those ten  years, I've been busy living my life, reminded of the horrific events that unfolded that day on every September 11th that has passed since that time and periodically in between. And I'm grateful that I, unlike so many families, do not have to live with the aftermath of that day in the painful and person way that so many people who lost loved ones do.

The events of that day have weighed heavily on my mind for the past couple of weeks. Like so many others, I'm remembering where I was, and what I was doing during that time. A couple of days ago, I uncovered my college's newspaper that I saved that was published shortly after the attacks while I was going through some boxes from the basement. On the front page there is a picture of the burning towers; and it all came flooding back. I was a freshman in college. I'd only been on campus for a couple of weeks and was still getting accustomed to life on an urban college campus. I remember leaving my U.S. History class that morning and everyone around me was abuzz about something big that had just happened. As I made my way back to my dorm room, I was collecting more and more information. I quickened my pace as I went, anxious to get to a television to see what was happening. I caught snippets of panicked conversations as I walked: "plane crash" "New York City" "terrorists" "World Trade Center." I rode the elevator to my eleventh floor dorm room and turned on the tv. The screen filled with an image of a scene that both stunned and horrified me all at once. I, like so many others, couldn't wrap my mind around what happened. I frantically called my parents and sister. I spent the rest of the morning glued to the screen. Sobbing. Horrified. Terrified.

For many nights after the attacks, I couldn't sleep. I was shaky and uneasy. I was wary of the skies and the tall buildings around me. Even the very ground under my feet no longer felt so solid as I walked to class each day. And yet, I was one of the lucky ones. My loved ones are all here to also share the story of where they were that fateful day. When my boys are old enough, I, like my grandparents, will share my own story with them. And for that I give praise to God. I grieve for those affected by this sad, solemn day. I pray for those who were lost; for our soldiers; for our leaders, and for our country. And I will never forget.

No comments:

Post a Comment