It was like any other day. I'd stared at my reflection in the mirror wishing I looked 'prettier' or more 'fashionable'. I'd probably skipped breakfast because sleeping in was more important to me. And as we were driving, I was probably complaining to my mom about needing new clothes, or friend drama, or something else that seemed highly important to my 8th grade self.
"Two planes have crashed into the World Trade Center towers." I asked my mom if I had heard correctly, she turned up the volume. We continued to listen as the radio announcer listed suspected injuries and fatalities. As I started to realize that this was more serious than I thought, the announcer's voice changed. "Another plane has just crashed at the Pentagon..." My mom dropped me off at school and I walked to my first class in a state of shock.
The hallways were full of students, but were empty of sound. Solemnly, we all went to our classrooms and stayed glued to the televisions in there. Nobody changed the channel for the first half of the day. By lunchtime, we had all relaxed a little, but were still unsure and on edge. What had happened? How will this affect us?
I probably had heard the word "terrorism" more times that day than I had in my entire life previous to that moment. Suddenly, it wasn't just a word to define, it was a reality.
Who could forget September 11th? Let's be honest, it's been ten years and I do forget. I don't think about it daily, I usually just remember for a couple days surrounding. And every now and then when it comes up in conversation. I don't think it's important that we think about it every day, it's not something that we need to dwell on. However, I do think we need to remember the lessons we learned.
September 11th taught me to hold my family close and to cherish them. I learned that there is a lot more to life than the daily petty things like not having the perfect hair, or not liking your outfit. There is so much more.
September 11th taught us how to be patriots. Reminded us that we should be grateful for our freedoms. And taught us that when in doubt, faith in the Lord is the way to receive comfort.
I am grateful for my freedom and grateful to live in this country. I'm grateful for my life and for my family. And I'm grateful for the change to remember what matters most.