I bet we spent most of yesterday doing the exact same thing. Remembering. Crying. Staring at the TV. Sympathizing. Wishing there was something we could do to help all those family member’s who are still grieving.

Watching the news coverage yesterday as they showed the family members searching for their diceased loved ones names etched in the memorial fountain, I found my heart breaking all over again for those poor families. I can’t believe how fresh the pain from that tragedy still feels 10 years later. I found myself choking up as the children from 9/11 one after the other got up to read part of the list of names. I teared up as I saw mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, and children weep at the sight of their family member’s name. As they rubbed the names onto the paper they were provided, I thought, what a momentus act for us to be witnessing as they memorialize their family member on paper, remembering this moment for years to come. 

I heard on the news the other day that the reason we can remember where we were during such tragic events is because tragedy has a much greater impact on the memory than happiness. That’s why you can remember where you were when you got the news that your first close family member had passed away but you can’t remember what you got for your birthday last year.

As everyone else in blog-land is doing this week, I can remember like yesterday where I was on September 11th. I remember being at school my senior year, sitting in Pre-Calculus waiting for the bell to ring. We were working on homework quietly when a teacher from down the hall came in to give my teacher, Ms. Browning the news of a possible fire in the World Trade Center. By the time the bell had rung and I had gotten to my next class, International Relations, every television in the school was on and we were all watching as the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower. We all gasped not knowing what to say. The girl behind me began sobbing. Her half-sister lived in NYC and she knew she visited the World Trade Center from time to time for business. She later found out that day that her sister happened to be on vacation that week visiting firends in Boston and was safe. But as we watched together, experiencing her fear of a family member possibly being at that tragic event was terrifying. Helpless. It was scary.

But yesterday as I watched 10 years later, they played the tapes, the footage, the testimonies of people who were there and lived to tell about one of the most tragic days in US history, somehow I feel stronger. Stronger that we made it through. We survived, we have learned, and we have addapted to the way the world works now. As crazy as it sounds, I feel priveledged to be able to say I remember where I was during such a tragic turning point in our country’s history.

Those who we lost on that day won’t be forgotten. And every year, we will all remember where we were. And we will also remember how far we have come. I hope yesterday was as meaningful to you all as it was for me. I hope you grieved with the families and shed at least one tear for what our country went through that day as well as these past 10 years. We all need to be reminded every now and then how quickly life can end. And we need to be reminded of how wonderful our country is.