I remember the day like it was yesterday. I woke up thinking how beautiful of a day it was outside. The sky was bright blue and there was a wonderful chill in the air. I stood admiring the sky with a cup of coffee in hand from the back door. The news was on and I turned around to see complete devastation flash before my eyes. The first tower was ablaze. A plane had crashed into it and reporters scrambled to get a shot, while people ran around the streets of New York terrified. Then my stomach sank further than it ever had before while I watched the second plane go crashing into the other tower on live television.
I was living home with my parents at the time and called my father out into the living room. We watched the news coverage in shock and horror. The reality that we were under attack didn’t hit at first. It just doesn’t happen to us. It doesn’t happen here at home and so close to home! Living in the United States always felt like living under a great, big security blanket. I took our safety for granted and I remember feeling so small, like a child, watching that coverage with my father. It was hard to believe that something so ugly could happen on such a beautiful day. The shock subsided enough for us to scramble to try and get in touch with my sister and brother who were working in the city at the time. I was finally able to get in touch with my sister over instant messaging. She was okay. She was stuck in her office, but out of harm’s way. My dad was able to get in touch with my brother. He was also all right.
Our family was lucky. It may have taken my brother and sister a little longer to get home that evening, but they came home. They were all right, unlike so many families who were affected. So many families had to face the reality that their loved ones were not coming home. So many men and women, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, lost their lives that day. It’s hard to swallow down the fact, even 11 years later, that such hatred and evil exists in this world.
Today I ask you to not only remember, but give thanks. Give thanks for each breath you take, each person you love and squeeze them a little tighter tonight when they come home. Always remember.