Ten years ago today, I was waking up — late for precalculus, I believe. My room mate told me I had a phone call. It was Brian. He told me what happened as I climbed down from the top bunk and saw the TV screen. What am I looking at? I thought as I stared blankly at the smoke billowing from Ground Zero. And then it hit me. I stood silently, taking in the gravity of the situation. I told Brian I’d call him back as soon as I got a hold of my relatives up north. You see, I was safe and sound in Gainesville, Florida. One of my uncles lives 5 blocks away from what is now Ground Zero. Terror filled my heart. I could not believe how evil a person — more than one person — could be. Surely I must have had some idea because I learned about World War II, among other things. Surely I could have understood that some people had sinister goals. However, I was but a naive 17-year-old girl.
On this day ten years ago, four jets were hijacked by suicide attackers, stealing the lives of almost 3000 innocent people. Normal people like you and me, going about their business, unsuspecting of their fate. Children — the most innocent victims involved — lost their lives because some adults had political agenda to attend to. Sweet children with hopes, dreams, and bright futures, all snuffed out well before their times. Friends. Family. Mothers. Fathers. Husbands. Wives. So many people, gone for something senseless.
We may feel a sense of closure as the mastermind behind these attacks was found and killed, but his death won’t bring these people back. The survivors have also been scarred for life, and only therapy can truly help them overcome the tragedy that befell our country ten years ago. On this day, let us all stop to honor the souls of the victims. Let us hold our loved ones near to our hearts. Reach out and make sure they know you care for them. We usually don’t get much warning when we will lose someone. Please hug someone you love and tell them you love them. This New Yorker who has found her way through a few states will most certainly take time to honor those who lost their lives, those who helped save more from such a fate, and those who serve to protect us on a daily basis.