Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later... and I Still Cry

Ten years ago today, I sat confused.

Ten years ago today, I sat scared.

Ten years later, and I still remember everything. I remember hearing the news anchor yelling that the first tower was falling. I remember my teacher hiding her tears, because she feared for her son's life. I remember being scared that I may never see my father again.

But I did. No one I personally knew died that day. My sister's friend had a volleyball game and begged her dad to take off of work and watch. He lived. My cousin's uncle was away on a last-minute business trip, he lived. My teacher's son had time for a coffee, and so he lived.

To everyone who reads this blog and did not live in the tri-state area that day: you have no idea what it was like for us.

Many of my English friends/acquaintances asked me to re-live that day because they were curious. I cried every time I told my story.

My father took us to see the smoke that night. I could not believe. That smoke lasted for days, maybe even a few weeks, I can't remember anymore. I have only been to the area once, last summer. And I cried.

I have no idea how to convey how SCARED I was that day. That is what makes me cry. What continues to make me cry is the men and women who died, the children who will never meet their fathers, and the soldiers who are so brave to fight for my life and freedom.

One thing that PISSES ME OFF is that people who weren't here on that day, try to say they were equally effected. News flash: you weren't. You may have been scared for our nation, for the terrorism that was so real, but you don't know how it felt that day to worry about so many mother's and father's lives. I live very close to NYC. Commuter close. Many of my friends, including my father, commute into NYC on a daily basis. More than half of my classmates were worrying about their parents. Even if we knew they didn't work in those buildings, we didn't know where they were. Cell phones weren't that big in 2001. My father had one, but cell phones were not working that day.

So please, remember 9/11 for what it was and how it shaped not only our nation, but the world, remember those who died in the planes and in the towers, remember those who died trying to save lives, remember the soldiers who fought for us, remember the soldiers who found and killed Osama Bin Laden, remember the children who grew up without a father or mother, remember that everyone's experience of that day is different and yours is just as unique as mine. Don't exploit it.

And please, remember that this was MY city being attacked. I live 20 miles away from the World Trade Center site. 20 miles. That's not far, at all. I was scared for my life and I continue to be scared. For months after the attack, military was placed at the Lincoln Tunnel, the George Washington Bridge, and still, there are two military people in Penn Station. That I passed and smiled at EVERY TIME I go into NYC. I live somewhere where terrorists want to attack. I live somewhere that a nuclear bomb could hit, and I could be effected. It scared 12-year old me then and it scares me now more than ever.

In more sad news, two years ago today, I flew to England to start the best year of my life. I felt it was a pretty safe day to fly because lightning doesn't strike twice, and security would probably be more strict. I am such a different person now than I was then. and I absolutely love everyone who has walked into my life and made it better. Without you guys, I would not be who I am.

I love you all, my beautiful friends. You mean everything to me.

and I honestly mean that with all my heart and with all my soul.