Eighteen years ago I was lucky enough to be far away from the events of 9/11. On September 11th, 2001, I felt very sick that morning and didn’t go to school. I stayed home all day and watched Nick Jr. as the rest of the country and the world got a shock. I was on the East Coast at the time, so there was a lot of panic within my family to make sure that everyone was okay.
When I was a kid, I didn’t know the specifics of the politics or the ideologies that fueled this terrible attack. I just knew that there were some bad men, who hated us so much that they were willing to give up their lives to bring us terror. The thought of this made me cry. In the weeks following the events, my family bought American flag magnets to put on our cars. Not much later, we cancelled our flights for the trip that we had planned for Tennessee. I remember walking downstairs one morning to find my parents talking. When I entered the kitchen, after some prodding, they announced that we would stay home rather than take the flights to Tennessee. My mom said it was because there was a lot of “sadness” going on in the country right now. I asked her if it had to do with the planes, and she said yes.
Things changed forever that day. I was lucky enough to have escaped the tragedy but there are many who were murdered, and others who have had to live with the pain of physical injury, disability, and loss of loved ones and of personal security. This is not even to mention all of the men, women, and children who were hurt fighting and those who suffered during the events in the years following the attacks. Thinking about this makes me incredibly sad. September 11th shaped an entire generation of young people, it shaped our policy, and shaped the sense that we had about our place in the world. So much was lost that day, Dear Reader… I hope you are well today, I really, really do.