Quiet. That is what that morning was. It was a day like any other. I had awoken early, eager to work on some last minute details of my graphic design project. I headed to the computer lab on my college campus, leaving my husband sleeping in bed. I worked for a few hours putting the finishing touches on the project that was to be turned in later that day and then I headed back to our little newlywed apartment.
We were packing. We had bought a new home on the other side of town and we were packing. With our move coming up in a few weeks time, my husband had taken the day off work to help get things in order. As I walked in our front door at just before 9a.m. there was silence. He looked at me as he was searching for words. “Did you hear what happened?” He asked. No, I hadn’t. We didn’t have smart phones or instant access to news, as we do now. I had not heard what happened. We sat together and watched the tv screen as the news anchors tried to explain what they were seeing. They, too, were confused. A plane had hit one of the World Trade Center buildings. It must have been an accident. Surely this was some sort of mistake. They were lost. We all were.
A few moments later the second plane hit the second world trade center. Fear and confusion took over as we were glued to our tv. Not sure what this meant. Not sure what was to come. This was a day like any other. It was a day like no other. At that moment in time we were transformed. We went from being innocent, average young Americans to being catapulted into our destiny – into our future. The next few weeks and months would give way to fears, to questions, to wars. It would also give way to a sense of compassion and unity. It was something we had not experienced in our generation before that day.
September 11th completely changed me. Although, I wasn’t one of the many who lost a loved one or lived in close proximity to any of the areas of impact, it shook me to my core. It made me realize what was possible. My eyes were opened to both hatred and to love. The good and the bad. The sadness and the hope. We now lived in a land where we witnessed true heroism, true bravery, true courage. Like never before, we loved our neighbor. For me, it made me certain of how important loving each other is – in the good times and the bad. I learned that each day is a gift. I learned that our families are a gift. A gift of value. A gift of worth.
So today, I will set apart this time to teach my children about what this day really means. We will take a break from book work and remember the loss we suffered as a nation. We will take time and we will remember our heroes. Most importantly, we will take time to remember who we are and where we are heading. We need to remember to love with intention and to live with purpose even more in this post-9/11 world.
Where were you on that day, now 14 years ago? What were you doing when you heard the news? How has it changed you for better or for worse?
Please leave a comment and let me know. I would love to hear your story.