It was a beautiful Tuesday morning. Just a typical day though. The usual hustle and bustle of getting ready in the morning and going into school. I was in 7th grade. I went to my first two periods of class and then for third period went to Spanish. I was sitting in Ms. Denton's class on the left side of the classroom, second row, facing the clock. At around 9:15am, we were suddenly interrupted over the loud speaker that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.
The day became not so typical anymore. Students and teachers all became frantic and uneasy because it seemed like we all knew at least one person who worked there, was NYPD, or FDNY. Tears started falling and we all felt helpless. Throughout the course of the day, the school was essentially in lockdown and students were being pulled from classes continuously as parents came to pick up their children. By the end of the day, there was nearly no one left. It made sense- in times of such tragedy, you just want to gather with the ones you love.
The bus ride home was silent and before getting off the bus a parent, guardian, or older sibling had to physically be there to get you because the school wanted to be sure that you were not going to a home whose parents would not be returning.
In the days to follow I was blown away by the number of stories I had heard of how their dad was supposed to be there, but was late for work, who got stuck in traffic, or whose train was supposed to be there at the time, but didn't go in that day, or who decided to stop and grab a cup of coffee before heading in. This is where I see God in the midst of this horrific event. There were supposed to be 12,000 people in each of those towers- meaning 24,000 people. And to count that only 3,000 died on that day including the Towers, Pentagon, planes, and first responders- it's a miracle that 21,000 lives were saved.
My heart breaks for the families that I know who lost a loved one on September 11th, and the ones that I don't. It was a terrible day in history that I don't think, and hope, any of us will ever forget. We did learn one thing that day though: evil is real, and so is courage.
This event brought Americans together in an instant. Everyone was willing to lend a helping hand to a stranger regardless of race, age, gender, religion, and economic status. We were one and united we stood.
In the midst of the tragedy and sadness, I love the feeling and sense of pride and unity that a day like today brings. I wish these feelings would stick around for more than 2 days out of the year instead of falling back into the routines of our lives.
May we always remember, never forget, and be forever grateful.
God Bless America.