As the years pass, it never gets easier. We will Always Remember and appreciate those who ran into the chaos.
I was born in New York – at Stony Brook hospital. I recall growing up within a short LIRR train ride of the Big Apple and it holds a special place in my heart.
Even after we moved to Virginia, every chance we got we drove back into the city – to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, to see what new magic was created for the windows at Christmas, for new boots or a new winter coat…. When the opportunity came for me to live there (by myself) in my 20’s and complete an Internship, I went, with no second thought.
I recently took 2 friends on a trip there – my boyfriend had never been before, my other friend had been a time or two, but it was clear that I was the navigator. It’s the only place I don’t get lost. Even among the crowds, and public transportation – we got around all weekend without use of an Uber/Lyft or a Taxi.
I feel a calm there that others may think is odd to this day. It’s a feeling of belonging that washes over me as I pass the Weehawken Library on the ramp into the tunnel. I know I’m almost home.
The skyline is continuously changing, ever since that September day in 2001. From an 8th grader in her English class, to a semi-adult who just bought her own house at 30… Time continues to churn – but there will never be another September 11th date that passes that I won’t thank those first responders for running towards the chaos, and giving their lives for others.
As most people reflect on the events of that day, appreciate their families, and remember those lost, I also like to think about the amazing acts of courage from everyday people. Like the Air Traffic Controllers across the country who had to land the other 4,000 planes that were in the air. How helpless they must have felt watching the hijacked planes turn, and watching it unfold in front of them. They talk to countless pilots day in and day out – to hear an unfamiliar voice, to see unapproved maneuvers, and only be behind a screen or on a phone. I pray they all have come to find peace that they did an exceptional job with an impossible task.
To the people who opened their homes and restaurants to care for those in need, to the brave souls on the Pennsylvania plane who took matters into their own hands – at the cost of their own lives. To the nation that came together to show unity – regardless of who someone was, what they did for work, or where they came from. Americans – as one.
I recall the images posted, the constant news coverage, and the stories of hope that rose from the ashes. I hear the sounds of the crushing & crumbling buildings. And I also remember the fear of the Pentagon crash, feeling like it was directly in our middle school yard. The acts of bravery – some the world may never see again, and some that fuels those who continue to fight for our Country deserve to be remembered and revered.
Someone posted this on Facebook the other day, and I couldn’t agree more: