It happened 17 years ago today…
We can never say thank you enough to the first responders–police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, perfect strangers–who acted selflessly to help those in need during and after the 9/11 attacks in New York City, Washington D.C. and on Flight 93.
We will never forget those innocent lives we lost on September 11, 2001.
Sixteen years have passed and yet that day will never fade from memory. And that goes for everyone who lived through the day that felt like the end of the world. While part of me wants to write endlessly about 9/11 recalling every detail and memory, the greater urge today has been to look back into the sky.
On September 11, 2001, I looked up into the clear blue September sky thinking how everything I knew had changed. A paralyzingly eerie feeling overwhelmed my entire body in this surreal gaze. And as a sophomore in high school, I was old enough to process what had happened. The tragedy of the day, with its heart-wrenching imagery, the heroism of the first responders and passengers on United 93 and the ever-lasting, sinking feeling that the world would never be the same will last forever.
The fact that my dad was almost in New York City, specifically the World Trade Center, on the morning of 9/11…Luckily, he got the last flight out of New York City back to Columbus on September 10th, completely unaware of what would happen just hours later.
RIP to all the victims and their families from the plane crashes in New York City, Washington, D.C. and the United 93 flight that heroically crashed in Pennsylvania.
Never forget and “let’s roll.”
Sometimes, a picture is worth more than words can describe.
“A rainbow appeared over New York City the day before 9/11, and many noted that it appeared to emerge from the World Trade Center site, where the Twin Towers were felled by terrorists in 2001.”
—Nick Sanchez, Newsmax
September 11, 2001 began as a serene Tuesday morning that quickly turned into one of the darkest days in American history.
The world changed forever.
Fourteen years later, the New York skyline and the Pentagon still reveal unthinkable images of gigantic planes crashing into buildings, causing destruction and fire with billowing clouds of smoke, brave people running for cover and heroes running into danger. It’s difficult to put into words what we all felt that day, including the personal connections to people in those cities and on those flights that day.
And those who were almost there.
The awe-inspiring picture above (showcasing one of nature’s best tricks) doesn’t heal the pain from September 11, 2001. However, after so many years, still with a feeling that it just happened, it does offer a small glimmer (and sign) of hope for the future as a rare double-rainbow shines over New York City with the One World Trade Center and an American flag perfectly in frame.
It’s a surreal sensation that I can perfectly retrace my steps beginning with hearing the shocking news from a classmate passing by me near the doors of the second floor of my high school’s library. He said a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. Confused, I continued to my math class around the corner, walked in and looked up at the television screen in the top left corner like everybody else as I made my way to my seat. There was a giant fiery and smoky hole in one of the towers. Black smoke was billowing out. We had no idea what was going on. I assumed it was a small plane whose pilot lost control. An accident for sure. But as I settled in for a few more moments, I realized the hole was far too large for such a small plane.
It started to register this was no accident.
September 11, 2001 is a day in which those who lived through it will remember forever. It was a tragedy fueled by panic and fear, as well as the pressing questions of why, how, what and who? However, it was also a day that showed us what true heroism looked like with police officers, firefighters, emergency personnel and everyday citizens helping each other through the debris of a literal hell on earth situation that September morning in New York City, Washington, D.C. and aboard a plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and during the dark days that followed.
There aren’t enough words to properly describe and remember the events of September 11th that occurred thirteen years ago. But two words continue to represent an overarching sentiment for us all, on this day, 9/11: