It is almost impossible for me to comprehend that 9/11 happened 10 years ago. I still remember that day like it was yesterday, the clear blue September sky, the terrified silence as we sat in the dark and watched the towers crumble on a TV set in my English class. Finding one of my Muslim friends crying in the hallway as she waited to get picked up early from school. My nervous classmates who had parents commuting into New York and D.C. for work that day. It was the beginning of my senior year of high school.
For days later, I was glued to the horrific images on the TV, and would wake up screaming in the middle of the night. It took me a good year before I could handle explosions on TV. A few weeks after 9/11/01, I went out to MN to visit my sister and I was totally shaken by all of the new rules and regulations surrounding air travel. It felt odd to have to meet my family outside of the security gates, instead of at the gate where my plane came in. And the terrorist drills at school didn't exactly calm me down. Instead of filing into lines in front of the school, we were all now 'safely away' from the school and perched in the football stadium. Really?
The world has changed a lot in the past ten years because of the events on 9/11, but as I was watching the special programs on TV last night I realized one thing has not changed. The first responders and those working recovery said it best: Even though 9/11 changed our lives in horrible ways and we lost a lot, we would still be the first ones to the scene if something like this happened again tomorrow.
The basic instinct to help, to rescue, and to stand with one another in the face of tragedy has only been strengthened through this adversity.
I know I will never forget 9/11, I don't think I could if I tried.