As I really wrap my ahead around this devastating anniversary, I'm beginning to feel as though the word remember might be a bit more fitting. For me, I often use forget in terms of something on the grocery list that somehow slipped my mind, or the oh snap moment when it's freezing at the restaurant and my cardi is at home by the door. I often find that remember, for me, is more often associated with more important dates like some one's birthday or a memory that I never want to misplace in the other junk that swirls in my brain.
So from here on out, on Sept. 11th, I want to remember and just not forget. I hope I always remember, although I wish none of us had to remember such things:
- Waking up to a world changed, darkened, and shaken
- In an instance, no longer taking my freedom for granted
- Living the horror of a homeland attack. Literally on our territory. By enemies that never really crossed my mind.
- Seeing lives changed forever in seconds
- Seeing heroes in action. God bless the NYPD firefighters, NY citizens, Pentagon staff, and Flight 93 members.
- Crying myself to sleep for 3 days while seeing thousands of missing person fliers through my TV screen. All of which were posted by helpless family members clinging to a hope that you knew was lofty.
- Seeing leadership in action
- Running out to fill my tank with gas that morning simply because I didn't know what else to do
- Walking outside and not seeing a plane insight for days
- Attending a candlelight vigil on a US aircraft carrier and feeling the rush of patriotism and a fear I had not known before. This was a fear that my parents or even the strongest of authority could not protect me from should it continue.
- My roommate's fiance being called up to deploy only days after the attack
- Sitting in my church with a hundred other people who didn't want to be alone and knew that in this moment, all we had was prayer.
- Knowing that our country would never be the same. We'd rally and we'd unite, hopefully as a stronger nation, but I also knew we could never undo what was done to us that morning.