I still remember (as if it were yesterday) the moment I heard about an airplane hitting a building in New York. I was a college kid at the time (Pre-Med Major) and I was walking through the Quad on my college’s campus when I heard someone say they were going to the chapel to pray for everyone who was in some building hit by a plane. I had no clue at that moment what building they were talking about or what the situation really was. I remember hearing a girl about my age say “My mom was in that building today” and I remember my heart sinking. Even though I didn’t know her I felt so bad that she was going through such a horrible moment in her life it really upset me. So I went back to my apartment, turned on the TV, and was hoping to find more information on what I had just heard. I never expected to see what I saw when I turned on my TV. That was the exact moment they showed the World Trade Center falling to the ground in a cloud of dust. I couldn’t believe my eyes and then it hit me that there were going to be hundreds if not thousands of people just like the girl I had just seen in the Quad. I knew there were going to be so many people hurt by this and so many lives lost by this, but I still didn’t know why?
It was later on that I found out it was “a terrorist attack” on our country. This moment really opened my eyes and for the years since this occurred I have really had a different take on life and family. I have always been close to my family, but not any closer than after 9/11. Visualizing such a horrific event and being around the very people that it hurts can really make you open your eyes even wider than they may have already been opened. For me I realized that I didn’t spend enough time with my family because I was so committed to school, being a doctor, and trying to run a business all at the same time. I quickly realized “family” matters more than school, education, money, business or pretty much just anything else you can think of at the moment. I started going home more frequently and spending more time with my parents. I love them so much and I really feel blessed to have had them with me for so long. I think this was the first time it really hit me that other people are not always able to spend so many years with their parents.
I hope our country learned from 9/11 that coming together and acting as one great nation is really the key to our success and power in the world economy. Never have I seen people of all colors, race, ages, genders whatever ban together like I did after 9/11. For the first time, at least in my life, I saw our country as a unified group instead of many different people with different agendas and different views. It was really an amazing thing to see people actually proud to fly the American Flag at their house or put a decal of the flag on their car. 9/11 proved that we as a nation are in fact proud to be in the greatest nation this world has ever seen, America. It also proved that we tend to forget that until moments of tragedy strike us.
My hope is that we will all remember today just how it felt to unify and come together. Remember where you were, what you were doing, and how you first heard of what happened in NY that day. Pray for the families who lost so many loved ones and then be so very thankful for the ones you have in your life. Realize that life is precious and it’s a privilege it’s not something owed to you. Spend each day loving the people around you that make you smile and always remember those who aren’t as lucky as you. Pray for them to have comfort, peace of mind and overall happiness.