on sept 11 2001, me and my friends woke up the same way we had for the past 13 years of our lives. we brushed our teeth the same, we fought with our parents the same, and we went to school the same. we went to the same classrooms and hung around the same kids.
and then in a few brief moments, we went from innocent children to young people who had reached the realization that people can truly be evil.
our parents, our aunts, our uncles, our grandparents, they worked in those towers. we knew it. we we're young, and we were scared. we were young enough to still believe we were safe under our suburban blanket, but old enough to comprehend the days events- and to understand we weren't safe. and in that sense, our childhood innocence was taken away.
we sat in those same desks with those same teachers at the boards. only on that day our teachers werent writing on the boards, they were crying in front of them, trying to explain to our young minds what was going on.
we stared at tv screens watching bodies fall out of two burning buildings, knowing that the body could quite possibly belong to someone we knew, someone we loved. no child should ever have to wonder if theyre mom or dad will be home when they get there, or dead under debri.
at age 13, i was the most upset i had ever been and hopefully ever will be. i kept seeing my uncles face and wondering if he made it out of the towers. the man who treated me more like a daughter than a niece. that man with 2 small boys at home and a wife who could not survive without him. i remember how my body shook. i remember how my bones hurt from crying. i remember thinking he was dead.
i remember my mom calling the police dept looking for my dad and hearing the scariest words i will hopefully ever hear for the rest of my life: that he had gone to help
i remember after 10 long hours of no word of his where abouts the call from my aunt saying he was alive. i remember how i've never felt such a sense of relief.
but what i'll never forget is the nightmares i had for weeks after. i'd close my eyes and see those bodies falling from windows, and those two beautiful towers i had just visited three weeks earlier falling to the ground. the fall of my niavety.
the afternoon of 9/11, i held hands with my mother sister and grandmother as we stood from the hill at essex green and watched smoked from the skyline that i used to look at in amazment and wonder. looking at it that afternoon, all i saw was evil. and looking at it now, all i see is emptyness where those towers should be.
i realize sept 11th wasn't that big of a deal to some people, especially states far away from where it happened. but to us, new york is our backyard. a 40 minute drive to city life and glamour and lights. on september 11th it changed to 40 minutes from terror. a piece of us all was taken on that day.
i needed to get this all off my chest because for five years i've never really talked about it, and today it's just hit me really hard.
but i realize this:this world is full of hate, but for now i chose to love, and to be loved, and to open my arms & embrace the things i was told are not possible. that for me, is the closest to world peace i will ever obtain.
i love my family. i love my friends. i love this life.
and i'm fortunate to be able to hug all the people i love.
this world is not peacful, it is not free, and it is not safe, but there is beauty.
we saw that beauty in those selfless fighters who went into those towers when everyone else was coming out.
there is beauty in this world.
you just have to look close enough.