I remember where I was when the world changed. I remember it starting as just another Tuesday. Just like today. I remember eating my cereal in the dining hall when I heard the news. I remember thinking it was just a single engine propeller plane, only to find out moments later it was much worse. I remember how that picture perfect day turned into a nightmare. I remember sitting in class and hearing the screams from the hall as the first tower fell. And then my professor canceling class in time for us to watch the second tower fall, all of us huddled in that little office next to the psych lab. I remember crying. I remember the confusion. The chaos. The not knowing what was happening. I remember the instant the innocence of life was lost. How I went from feeling relatively safe my entire life to feeling truly afraid for the first time in my life. I remember one of my best friends not being able to get in touch with his father who worked in World Trade Building 7 the entire day and not knowing what to do for him. I remember hearing the name Osama Bin Laden for the first time in my life and getting the chills at the thought of such evil. I remember the terror I felt that day. I remember how things were before that day. How we used to be able to go all the way to the airport gate to wish our loved ones farewell. How I used to love driving over the Casciano Bridge with my family to visit my relatives in Bayonne and stare in awe at that beautiful skyline and those wondrous towers. And I remember how sad I was that that skyline would never be the same. How that drive would never be the same. I remember the days and weeks after that day. How the country came together. How we felt united. How there was no Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal. There was only American. How soon we forget that feeling. Those days. I remember how ten days later, my favorite player brought us all to our feet in a must-needed joyful moment. How our national pastime helped us forget our national tragedy, if only for a moment. How our most bitter rivals turned into our allies because after all, it’s just sports, and we are really all on the same team. And I remember the months and years that have past. The wars. The many lives that have been lost. The pain. The outrage. The numbness. And that although things are different, in many ways we’ve gone back to our same ways. I remember these things. I know you do, too. Do our children? Were they even alive or old enough to remember seventeen years ago today? Let’s help them remember, too, so that this nation will #NeverForget. God bless the families who lost loved ones on that day and all the days since fighting for our freedom. We will never forget.
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