Can you ever really forget where you were when something has horrific as 9/11 happened? Your entire world is changed, you see things both bad and good that stay in your mind forever.
I was in 10th grade, I had just walked into my orchestra class and the TV was on. I thought it was just the morning announcements but soon realized it was something so much worse. My orchestra teacher was watching the screen with wide eyes and I don’t even know if he was aware but his head was shaking back and forth like he was subconsciously telling himself “no”. While my 14 year old self was unsure of what had happened I knew it was truly awful.
When I got home that afternoon my Mom was sitting on the couch watching the news crying. She wanted a hug and I walked over and gave her one and sat down to watch what was happening unfold so very far from my home. Over the next few days I don’t think my mom turned the TV off. We were all mainly just shook and horrified . It really was the first time I felt numb with shock.
Fast forward 2 years and we were able to go to New York with an Orchestra Group I was part of. We were invited to play at Carnegie Hall. It was really an amazing trip. I got to go with my mom and we got to kinda do whatever we wanted, it was great! I fell in love with the city and a small part of my heart really wouldn’t mind living there. While we were there we had the opportunity to see a play ( Phantom of the Opera was AMAZING), eat at amazing restaurants and tour the city.
Mom and I both wanted to go to Ground Zero. So we made sure to make it a priority and we spent over half a day there. To say it was surreal is an understatement. Surreal, humbling, sobering, quiet ( which was strange because there was SO much going on) and massive.
The site was so large , it was crazy to think that these two buildings were gone. A lot of the surrounding buildings had marks and gouges on there exteriors from the building debris as they collapsed.
We walked around the area and saw many things that stuck with me to this day. The board of missing people was still up. That hurt my heart; posters of people that would never come home. There was a man there that was handing out maps and talking to people, he had been there that day and was telling us first hand how he had felt and things he saw.
The only good thing, if it can be called that is that it brought us together. Tales of heroism and the human spirit that came from all of this is still so touching and amazing that is brings tears to my eyes. STILL. TO THIS DAY. Things happened that day that I only used to be able to imagine, things I never in my 14 year old mind thought were possible. I grew up that day in a lot of ways.
Moving forward, I will do my absolute best to instill great values in my kids, to teach them right from wrong and to give them the tools they will need to face this crazy world. 9/11 is special to me, it always will be. One day when the kids a little bit older a trip will be planned and we will go and see the memorial that is there now.
As for now, hug your loved ones, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and LIVE your damn life to the fullest!
Till next time!