Our generation will remember where we were when we heard about September 11 the way the generation before ours will remember when Kennedy was shot. I went to class at 9:30 that morning (Abnormal Psychology, I believe), and a girl was talking about how a plane went into the World Trade Center. At the time we thought it was just a freak accident. When I got back home we turned the TV on and saw that horror that was the reality of the situation. I sat there, dumbfounded, watching the reports, wondering if anything else was going to happen and how the world was going to be different. That night I sat in bed with the TV on, scared to fall asleep and miss something major. In the aftermath of the days after, I cried as the news showed people frantically posting pictures of their loved ones, holding on to a sliver of hope that they were still alive in a hospital or underneath all that wreckage. Mothers, daughters, wives, fathers, sons, husbands.
A couple years ago I was looking through some old photo albums and found a series of four pictures I took from the top of the Empire State Building and there it was, majestic yet simple. Two columns of metal and glass. The loss of that building leaves a hole in the heart of New York City as well as in our own hearts, and I regret that I didn't visit it when I had the chance. I still get chills and a lump in my throat when I see the footage of that day: the plane going into the building, the falling bodies of the people who decided it would be better to jump than to wait with uncertainty for help to arrive, people wandering the streets under a blanket of debris, documents that seemed so important just hours ago, now floating around in the breeze. I won't get political because this is a time to remember the thousands of innocent people who died while going about their daily business like most of us are doing today, and the heroes who died attempting to rescue them.