Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11: Reflecting & Remembering

I wasn’t yet living in Washington DC on Sept. 11, 2001. Then 17 years old, I was just starting my second week of college in California when the awful news flashed across the screen, horrifying me along with everyone else throughout my campus, hometown, state and nation.

Unbeknownst to me, those who would four years later become my colleagues, friends and fellow federal aides fled from Capitol Hill in chaotic terror, some frantically trying to reach their loved ones at the Pentagon, most succeeding, some tragically not getting through, then or ever again.

Forever changed, DC was different by the time I arrived. During my first month on the Hill, I quickly learned how to use a gas mask, screen for potentially hazardous materials in the mail, and discreetly summon help to my office. There were emergency procedures, drills and false alarms, though nothing serious ever happened throughout the years that followed. I was lucky. On 9/11, far too many hard-working, honest and big-hearted people were not.

Image Source: gotgeoint.com 
It’s been 10 years, and some are asking whether Americans have now started to forget. I haven’t and won’t, because even now, I often stop to think how many amazing life moments and milestones I would have missed had I been one of the thousands killed that day, knowing that for so many, too many, this circumstance became a tragic reality.

In the end, whether I'm always conscious of it or not, the events of 9/11 have inspired me to more fully appreciate life, not only for myself, but in memory of those who no longer can. That's something I know will always be with me no matter how much time may pass.

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful post! I certainly haven't forgotten 9/11, even though I didn't lose any loved ones as a result of it. My heart goes out to those that were not so fortunate . . .

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  2. Beautiful. America can not and hopefully will not ever forget 9/11

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  3. Good reminder. I love your last paragraph there ... we must always remember.

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  4. I was in Pennsylvania on 9/11 and my husband was in Queens. We will never forget that day...and I can't believe it has been 10 years. We plan on visiting Ground Zero tomorrow evening to remember and honor those who's lives were lost on that day.

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  5. Very true words and beautiful way to put it.
    I think for us humans, there are just some tragedies in life that we should never forget, like 9/11 and The Holocaust (among others), in fact we should remember them in order to honor those that had to sacrificed their lives for the wrong reasons. It's a very sad example of what humans are capable of doing and in my heart I pray that it would never happen again.
    Have a nice and safe weekend!

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  6. Great post. I agree I will never forget, and although thankfully I don't personally know anyone who had been involved in 9/11, it just breaks my heart hearing about those who have been affected. It's great that we continue to remember those who were involved, and especially the heros that didn't survive.

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  7. Gorgeous post! I definitely try not to take life for granted. You never know what will happen and should appreciate it!

    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  8. Wonderful post and I have not forgotten that day and I really don't think anyone has. I'll always remember where and what I was doing when I received that that horrible news.

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  9. That must have been a little scary when you first got to DC to have to learn all those things. I will never forget about 9/11...every time I see it on the clock as the time, every time I hear or think about NYC, the families will never forget, neither will the cities that it happened to.

    When I was in NY on Thursday there was a threat announced and when I came out of the train station there were armed Military men...its crazy the world we live in Post 9/11 and to think that something like that happened to our country.

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  10. great post. i still can't believe it's 10 years. and i'm glad the memorial events went off safely.

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  11. Great post! I think that sometimes the biggest tragedies can only help us really appreciate what we have and what is sacrificed to provide the lifestyle we have become accustomed to.

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