Ten years ago, I was 14 years old. A freshman in high school. I was at that selfish age. That age where you think nothing bad can happen to you. When you haven't quite realized how big the world is.
I was in my health class when our principal went over the PA system to tell us that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Centers, and that they believed it was a terrorist attack. To be quite honest, I don't think I knew what it meant. I knew it was bad. I knew it was tragic. But I didn't quite understand the "terrorist attack". I had no idea that people could hate us so much that they plan to kill thousands, millions, of us. I remember the feeling of school that day-sadness. Everyone was walking around, kind of numb, in shock, not quite sure what to say.
When I think of 9/11, there are a few things that run through my mind. The first- the people on the planes. How terrified they must have been feeling, the complete lack of control they had. The second? The families. The panic that must have run through their minds as they found out the news, wondering if their loved on was at work that day, or in that plane. I do not know what they felt that day, what they continue to feel day in and day out. But my thoughts and prayers go out to them. That they may find hope, peace. That they are able to continue pushing on.
Then, as insensitive as this might read on first glance, I think of comfort. How we, as a nation, for that day , for weeks months and, yes, ten years later, reached out to comfort one another. We were all attacked, all put at risk. I remember, at my school, we had a prayer service maybe a week or so after the attack. Our peers, classmates, and friends stood in front of us, telling us how 9/11 impacted their lives. We had a couple girls who were Muslim, they stood there and told us how terrified they were of being judged or stereotyped, because of their religion and because they chose to wear a hijab on their heads every single day. That prayer service brought us together as a school, and for the first time in my life, I began to realize how big the world was, how one tragedy impacted the entire nation.
My heart goes out today. It goes out to the families who lost someone that crisp, September day. My heart goes out to every single person who tried to help- who continue to help. From the firefighters and government to the NYC residents who ran to get people out of the burning building. You are all heroes in my eyes. My heart goes out to the service men and women who fight, every single day, to keep us safe.
Let's spread more love. Lord knows this world needs it. Find your cause.