Monday, September 12, 2011

10th Anniversary of 9/11- Remembered & Honored

It is almost hard to believe that a decade has passed since the tragic day of 9/11.   10 years seems like a long time, but for me, I still remember exactly where I was and how I felt when I first heard of the news.

10 years ago yesterday, I was sitting in my 2nd period with my choir class when the announcement came on from our principal saying we needed to turn on our televisions.    Minutes after my teacher turned on the TV, me and my peers watched the second plane crash into the second World Trade Center Tower.    All I remember feeling at that moment was horror and pure sadness.   People running in the streets, smoke pouring out of the buildings.   My school kept the TV's on all day so we could watch all the occurrences unfold.    When I saw the second plan crash into the second tower, it is still a moment I will never forget.    I will always remember where I was and howI felt when I first found out about the attacks taking place on our Country.   All I could think about was how helpless I felt.   All I could do was watch what was happening and not be able to do anything.

Even today, 10 years later, I still cannot begin to fathom how much our world was turned upside down at 8:53am on September 11th.   That this one day, our Country split into two different worlds- before 9/11 and after 9/11.    This event changed the way our Country runs, the saying "love thy neighbor" took a whole new meaning, and safety & security went to a whole new height.

In honor and remembrance of 9/11,  I spent most of my morning watching a number of 9/11 tribute TV series both about the heroes, the loss of loved ones with stories from families, and the rebuilding and engineering of the new World Trade Center and the 10th Anniversary Memorial.      

I watched a moving piece by NOVA on the engineering of Ground Zero.  Here is a summary of the video.    The show talked about the design of these two memorial fountains and how the architect behind the design, came up with this moving and powerful memorial that would be officially dedicated in a special ceremony for victims' families.

The 9/11 Memorial is located at the site where the former World Trade Center Towers once stood.  The memorial fountains occupy approximately half of the 16-acre site with beautiful trees surrounding the memorial.   This landmark was designed by Michael Arad, a partner at Handel Architects.  The memorial consists of a waterfall cascading into a reflecting pool.   On the exterior of the cascading water, are the names of the lives that were lost on this tragic day, all grouped together based on where their lives were lost.   (read more about the memorial)

In case you missed it, I highly recommend you watch both President George W. Bush's Flight 93 Memorial Speech and President Obama's 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial Speech.   The words they both expressed during their speeches are not only moving but are good reminders of what acts of courage and strength were done on 9/11.    Their speeches capture all emotions from this day and helped me reconnect to the events that happened and how they have changed our lives forever.

Every year I will continue to remember what happened on this day and how many lives were affected by this tragedy.   I feel like our generations have a duty to keep the memories and emotions tied to this day alive.   When my children learn about 9/11 in their studies, I will make sure they truly understand how affect the day had on our Country and how my life was "changed" because of it.  

Where were you on September 11th, 2001?   Do you remember how you felt?   What did you do yesterday to remember this tragic day?    How will you continue to remember and preserve this monumental event in your lifetime?

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