Eleven years ago today I was still living at home and getting ready to start California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) in a week. I wasn't working at the time and I was supposed to stay home to supervise the crew reflooring my parents' house.
I remember my mom bursting into my room way before I was planning on waking up and being irritated, until she told me that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center in NYC. I was still half asleep and didn't understand what she was telling me, how could a plane fly into a building like that by accident?
Except it wasn't an accident.
And then another hit the second tower, and a 3rd hit the pentagon and a 4th crashed into some field after the passengers revolted. I remember being transfixed by CNN, I couldn't tear myself away from the screen. How could this happen? Here? Will we ever be safe again?
Eleven years later I still get chills when I think of that day, I still get teary eyed when I hear the Star Spangled Banner, and I am so proud to be an American. I might disagree with some of our policies, but I am glad I live in a country where I have the right to vote to change the things I don't agree with.
The people who tried to bring us down as a nation eleven years ago failed. That event did not tear us apart, it brought us closer together as many tragedies will do. I wish we could find that spirit of cooperation and cohesiveness again without having to face a similar crisis.
Thank you to all the first responders who risked everything to save those trapped in the towers. To the ones who didn't make it out, you are missed and will never be forgotten. To those who lost loved ones, your grief is shared by an entire nation.
To those who continue to serve and protect, you are the real heroes and your country is proud.
Where were you eleven years ago? How did you respond?