Where were you 13 years ago?
Every year, we see this date on the calendar. Every year, we remember. Whether it be due to Facebook posts online, news reports showing footage or our own personal memories, we always know what happened.
The worst event in American history happened on this date and it is something that will never be forgotten. We will teach our children about this day in the hopes they understand what this world is like. We will teach our children what it means to be proud of your country. Most of all, we will want our children to appreciate the first responders and their sacrifice. My hope for my children is that they understand what the Firemen\EMT and Police and many others did that day. They did not think about their own well-being...they knew people needed help and they acted.
What do you remember the most?
I will never forget the images. It seemed as though there was no conversation that day. The images have, and will always, leave a lasting impression. I don't know if I have ever been in a room with a large number of people and no one was talking in some way shape or form.
The impact of that day had a different meaning in my life and those of the lives of the people in that same room I was sitting in. We looked at this day, and mostly the days after, as a symbol of the decision we made. It was interesting listening to those around me and their thoughts in the days and weeks after this tragic event.
The first image
I was sitting in Chauvenet Hall. Calculus class to be exact. I sat in the front row, left side next to the computer. A normal looking classroom like you would find on any college campus. Only one difference between my college and a normal college. Chauvenet Hall is one of five large academic buildings on the campus, or yard as we affectionately call it, of the United States Naval Academy. The 4,000 student strong school was home to the next leaders in our Navy and Marine Corps.
As the professor was getting ready to begin class, one of our classmates, Kristen, came in and said that one of the World Trade Center buildings had been hit by a plane. From what she had mentioned, the early reports were that it was a small plane that crashed into the building and that they were sending the first responders. What made it different is that Kristen was saying it was not a small plane. She tried to bring it up on the computer in the class and that is when we had the first real image. It was a passenger plane.
We know how the day went. We know how the rest of the week went and we know how the rest of the time has gone. There are those that are reminded every September 11th and there are those that are reminded everyday of their lives. The lives that were lost that day is something that I will never forget and the images are a reflection of what happened but should serve as a reminder that we have been low and we, as a country, came back.
NEVER forget the more than 2,000 that perished that day. As they left their homes kissing their families that morning, no one expected this.
NEVER forget the first responders. The individuals that wake up everyday to serve AND PROTECT. That day they did the job they chose. The job that defines them as a person and makes me proud of this country. Those that said "If not me then who!" I say thank you to every single one of them as they saved many lives while paying the ultimate sacrifice.