For the better part of last week I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the 9/11 footage that was painted all over my TV screen. Unlike a lot of the other tragedies that have struck this country, practically the entire population waited and watched the horror unfold on the morning of September 11, 2001.
I was in 6th grade in 2001, and I had no idea what had happened until my mother picked me up from school and told me that some very bad men had crashed airplanes into to some very important buildings in New York and that a lot of people died. At that point, I knew what had happened was really bad. I was only 12, but when I saw the footage of the smoking towers and their eventual collapse, it scared me. It broke my heart.
But now, watching the 10th anniversary specials has made the enormity of that tragedy so much more real. I watched people jump from hundreds of feet up in the air. I watched incredible real-time footage of firemen and volunteers searching through the smoking, jagged rubble looking for survivors, but only finding bodies, body parts, and charred remains. Families crying in the streets, talking to reporters while holding flyers with pictures of their missing loved ones.
9/11/01: Never Forget.
We can’t forget. We have it all on film.
We have so much of the attack and the aftermath documented, and it’s had a profound effect on me. I see clips of the debris and the fiery wreckage and I think: How did they know where to start? How did we ever get back to normal? And as much as I can find wrong with this country, the resilience of this country is something that inspires me. It is something that I am proud of.
What will be:
If you haven’t checked out the 9/11 memorial at ground zero or the plans for the new World Trade Center I highly recommend it. It’s amazing the time and thought that has been put in to honoring the victims at the WTC. You can find it here.