Forever Remember

Fifteen years ago our world changed. Fifteen years ago, I was a child caught in a moment where we, as a nation, were forced to wake up to the evils of the world. That moment when the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center fell. That moment the walls of the Pentagon caved. That moment when a plane fell from the sky into a field in Pennsylvania.

I was sitting in Mrs Black’s Georgia History class at Midway Middle School when I first heard the news. One of the other teachers stuck their head in to tell us that Ft Stewart, the military base where most of us students lived, was on lock-down. Nobody was going in, nobody was coming out.

As we sat there, working on our Native American diorama projects, we got small nuggets of information. We didn’t have TVs in our classrooms, so we couldn’t see the images that were being broadcast across the world.

What I remember wasn’t the chaos of that I see when I watch the videos and tributes on YouTube. I don’t remember the explosions or the clouds of dust that blanketed Manhattan. What I remember was sitting on the bus for what seemed like hours waiting to be let back onto the military base. What I remember is walking in to find that my mother had dragged out the small TV that we never watched and had it set up on a stool in the living room. That’s when it hit me.

The following day, I sat out at the bus stop waiting for a bus that was stuck outside the gate, waiting to get in to take us to school. When it finally got there, I didn’t get on.

I don’t think any of us that weren’t there that day could ever comprehend what happened that day. We could watch every piece of footage, every documentary, each analysis, but we would never feel what they felt that day. We can only know that terror that we experienced.

Someone told me that this year was one of the first years that we will be teaching our youth in high school the history of Sept 11th, because they were not alive to be witnesses to these events first-hand. This is an event that is now being taught as part of our past.

These events have shaped us as a nation.

I believe that one day, I will be asked the question: Where were you on September 11th?

It is an event that we must learn from it, every single day.

It is something we can never forget.

We must always remember the lessons we learned, the lives we lost, and the bravery that won the day. The thousands of lives that we changed in an instant. Each of their stories is a sacred piece of our story together.


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