On this day, September 11th, everyone can remember where they were eight years ago when the tragedies of 9-11 unfolded. I was working for a corporation as a web designer, sitting in my cubicle, when a co-worker one cube over sent me an email with a photo of the first plane going in to the twin tower.
I thought it was a joke, like one of those doctored photos you see flying around cyberspace. And I disregarded it. After that, everything's fuzzy. I think he came over and said something about the photo and I realized it wasn't fake, and panic began to set in. All of us entered a new state of being, one we'd never experienced before. I remember thinking we should all go home because no one could get any work done for trying to keep up with the news.
I did leave early. I was closing on my new home that day. My stepfather had built my house, and I remember meeting him at the closing attorney's office to sign the papers. We sat there, the two of us, in shock in the waiting room. I remember feeling that the transaction meant little since the world was ending.
Yes, it actually felt that way, didn't it?
It's been several years now, and I still remember how it felt to watch the second plane come in. To watch the horror, the terror.
There are no words.
But I also remember watching President Bush and New York Mayor Giuliani as they pulled the nation together afterward. We were searching for guidance, ready for heroes. We tried to put one foot in front of the other in the days and weeks to follow. I'll never forget what came next. We were all united in our sense of country and patriotism. We were all united. For the first time in my life, I felt that sense as people hung flags outside their homes, said God Bless America to one another freely.
It's been eight years since the tragedies of 9-11. I do not miss that feeling of the world ending. But I do miss what came after, that feeling that all of us are in this thing together, that we live in America, we are Americans, and we cherish our freedom and will fight for it.
My wish on this anniversary of 9-11 is that every American, no matter what side you might be on of whatever issue it is, is to take a break, shake the hand of your neighbor, remember that first and foremost, we are all Americans.
May God bless all of our men and women who are serving our nation in the armed forces, overseas and at home. Though our country is going through many changes, one thing stays the same:
We are blessed to live in America. Our heroes are never hard to find.