Ten years ago today I woke up, ate breakfast, packed my lunch, and went to third grade. Whispers carried across the kitchen as my parents discussed the crisis which was unfolding across the country. Ever the curious eight-year-old, I pleaded with my distressed parents to explain what was happening on the muted news channel. Kindly, patiently, my mother conceded to explain with tears in her eyes that there had been an attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. Tears came to my own eyes, though I did not know the significance of those two buildings, I knew the significance of the lives that had been taken. Just two short weeks prior to the catastrophic attacks my beloved mother and father had been vacationing in New York City. In my eight-year-old mind, two weeks may have been two days. I cried and thanked my Heavenly Father that my mom and dad were safe in our home, that those horrible people decided to wait two weeks. To to this day I am so grateful that those terribly misguided men did not take the lives of the people that I love.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said for millions of Americans. As I left for third grade thanking heaven for the safety of my family, my best friend was worrying about the heroes in hers. Images of her mother and grandmother crying and clinging to one another for support as they each called family members in New York will never leave my mind.Our parents desperate to preserve a sense of normalcy, kept our play date after school that fated day. I do not remember what games we played, or what snacks we ate--only the images and sounds I glimpsed on the news playing on every television in the house. Somber sobriety pervaded the world, even the elementary school classroom. Never will I forget the impact that these events had on me as such a young American.
I am a member of a new generation. A generation which grew up with a different NYC skyline. A generation who lives in vigilance. A generation that will never feel the security our parents enjoyed in this great land. I love my country.