It’s the seventeenth anniversary of the World Trade Centers falling due to an act of terrorism.
It’s actually hard to believe that it’s been seventeen years since that Tuesday morning when the world changed so drastically. In spite of the years that have past, it’s still in the forefront of the American mind, and indeed, the world’s. It’s still talked about as if it was yesterday because to be truthful, we are still dealing with repercussions and events that have and are happening due to what happened.
I could talk about where I was that day, but really, that’s what people expect of others to do when the anniversary comes up, so I won’t do that; even though I think about it every year as if it’s a snapshot burned into my skull.
Instead I want to talk about my feelings and emotions.
Even though I was a teenager at the time of it’s occurrence, I don’t think I felt the full emotional impact of 9/11. Instead, I felt an obsession. I watched the news obsessively every night. I watched shows of heroism, people being saved, animals being taken in, simple every day acts of coming together to grieve and overcome. When Alan Jackson and Toby Keith made their patriotic songs, I felt a surge of pride for being an American. These terrorists could bring down a building, but they couldn’t bring down my patriotism. When it was announced that we’d go to war, I shook my fist and prayed that they’d take down the men who planned these acts.
But it hasn’t been until the last couple years or so that I felt a more emotional impact of what happened. I can feel the horror, the terror, the sadness, and the reality of death that occurred at ground zero. Over 3,000 people died. 3,000 people. For every person that died, can you imagine the number of friends and family members that each person’s death impacted? The children, the wives, the husbands, the sons, daughters, fathers? Even if you say ten people per death, that’s what 30,000 people who felt that person’s loss? It’s unimaginable.
Maybe it’s because I’m older, I can understand the loss and the pain that this day truly meant for me and for others. For the United States and the world. Or maybe it’s because I read so many stories and heard the last words of people knowing they’re about to die.
I can understand now.
I was aware seventeen years ago, but I wasn’t truly aware. Not yet. That would come later.
I don’t think we could truly recover from that Tuesday morning, but we can make steps to making a better future. May we never forget.