I remember exactly where I was eleven years ago today. I was in fourth grade making some sort of collage out of pictures I cut out of magazines. The teacher got a call, rushed out for a little while, then came back in. Her eyes were red and her cheeks were wet. She told us what happened. I didn’t understand. She brought a television in and we watched it replay on the news. I remember standing at my little desk, the blue safety scissors in one hand, a picture of a golden retriever puppy in the other. I remember staring at the screen, watching the building fall, the plume of dirt and concrete and smoke growing, expanding, consuming. People running. Yelling. I was crying. I remember not fully understanding what had just happened, or what it all meant, but I knew it was sad, so I cried.
To all those families who suffered, all the people who lost their lives, the civilians, the firefighters, the police, the mothers and fathers, the sisters and husbands… I will always remember you. We will never forget.
Here’s to you.