I thought about not posting anything… it’s not like anyone could forget what happened, and media is almost oversaturated with coverage as it is.
I have thought about it all day,though, so it only seemed right to put my thoughts down and process them a little.
Like everyone else, I can remember the day as if it were yesterday. I was a junior in college and was asleep at my apartment when I awoke to the phone ringing. It was my mom, and she told me the country had been attacked.
I was alone, my roommate off at class. As I hung up the phone, I initially felt numb. I hopped in the shower to quickly get ready – I wanted to get on campus and be with Brian and my friends.
As the water poured down on my head I started to sob. The world as I knew it had instantly changed. I had been living in a peaceful little bubble and now I was hit with the realization of just how dangerous the world could be.
Once on campus I sat with friends watching coverage. I was shocked by the images of the planes hitting the towers and sickened as I watched terrified, desperate people plummet from their buildings. At that point some planes were still unaccounted for, so there was also the underlying fear that another strike was imminent.
I was affected profoundly by 9/11. For months I had anxiety attacks, certain that the next terrorist attack was right around the corner. I even wanted to avoid busy places that might be attractive targets for attacks. I had trouble sleeping, often having nightmares with some thread of the 9/11 terror woven in.
Slowly I started to come out from under that cloud of fear. The sadness surrounding that day will never leave – whenever I remember the day, I always think about those who lost their lives or lost loved ones… those people who got urgent goodbyes, or those who still are left with uncertainty all these years later, their loved ones never found. But I began to feel normal again. A new normal; a little less trusting, a little more cautious, but also stronger.
I read a great quote on a marquee today: “Worrying doesn’t rob tomorrow of its sorrow; it robs today of its joy.” I don’t know what the future holds, but if 9/11 taught me anything it was to value and cherish today. To hug my family and friends, laugh with my children and keep their world innocent as long as I can. To have faith that if something happens again, we will make it through stronger than before.