There are moments when we close our eyes and can be transported back to a place in time in an instant. The smells the sounds, the emotion, the people we were with- it’s all right there. September 11th, for me, is one of those moments.
I don’t remember much about September 10, 2001. I was living in my dorm and had just started my Freshman year on the beautiful campus of Michigan State University. I probably went to dinner with my roommates and worried about my classes and made plans for the upcoming weekend.
I don’t remember a lot about that Monday night, but I will never forget that Tuesday morning.
My roommates and I woke up to a blaring phone that wouldn’t stop ringing. Through our grumbles and confusion someone managed to stumble down off the loft and answer it. It was my roommates dad, frantically telling us to get out of bed and turn on the tv. As we wiped away the sleep from our eyes we sat there in our tiny little dorm room. We watched like the rest of the world, shocked, helpless and completely heartbroken for the events that were unfolding.
Sitting there watching life as we knew it fade away I was mixed with emotion and I needed to call my Ma. The instant she answered the phone I knew something wasn’t right. It was then I remembered my brother was with his friends in NYC. My heart fell out of my chest as I learned that no one could get a hold of him. That morning they were supposed to be on a tour of the World Trade Center. A tour that would have put them at the top of one of the towers when the planes hit.
God had a different plan for my brother and his friends on September 11, 2001. It was later that morning through jammed cell phone lines that my Ma was finally able to reach them. By only the incredible grace of God, their alarm never went off. As the world around them fell to pieces, they were safe and sleeping in their NYC hotel room.
The days that followed left us all glued to the tv. We felt utter heartbreak and devastation for our nation, for our American people. We watched over and over as the news stations delved deeper and deeper into the events that occurred. We banded together as a nation. We took events that were meant to tear us down and we let them strengthen us. Over time, we as Americans tried to wrap our minds around the devastation, emotion and destruction. I heard someone once say that we never got back to “normal” we just found a new normal.
Today I remember.
I remember the 2,977 victims and their families, friends and loved ones.
I remember American Airlines Flight 11.
I remember United Airlines Flight 175.
I remember the North and South Towers.
I remember American Airlines Flight 77.
I remember the Pentagon.
I remember United Airlines Flight 93.
I remember the fire fighters.
I remember the police officers.
I remember the families that were torn apart.
I remember our military that has defended us everyday since.
I remember the survivors that bravely carry on.
September 11, 2001 changed us forever.
I will never, ever, ever forget.