11 September 2009

I remember, 8 years ago.

I was at home getting ready to move to San Diego for my first year of college. I had woken up relatively early for a high school senior soon to be college freshman, at around 10:30. I remember my mom calling me to come to the living room and look at the TV.

Twin Towers. Burning.

It looked like a movie. So unfathomable to actually be real. But it was. Very, very real.

I don't think I quite knew how I should react. Utter disbelief. Then I thought about all the people. All the people in the building. All the people on the ground. All the people in the plane. All one could do is pray and hope.

Then my mom told me that my grandmother was actually at the airport in New York that day, and we were all freaking out. Cell phone lines were jammed. Luckily, she was able to call from a pay phone at the airport to let us know that she was safe. She ended up sharing a hotel room with another stranded lady. I think they still keep in touch to this day.

I don't think I have words that would even do justice to what happened eight years ago. I had never been to New York City before 2001. I first went in 2004. Then in 2007, when I had the chance to visit Ground Zero and the memorial center. It's a beautiful tribute, and while it will hardly begin to fill the voids that 9/11 left that day, it is a nice commemoration.

I started doing most of my airplane travel in a post-9/11 world. I remember the National Guards patrolling the airport with their big guns. I remember having to show your ID three times before boarding the plane. I remember the vigilance, for which I'm thankful. I'm thankful for my safety. I'm thankful to be able to remember.

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