On that day…

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I remember I was in first grade. I remember my teacher reading something on her computer and being

I remember my teacher reading something on her computer and being visibly upset but she wouldn’t tell us what was going on.

I remember students being taken out of class… I remember so many students being taken out of class. I may have been one of about seven who were left.

I remember somehow knowing that President Bush was reading to a classroom of kids when it happened. Maybe my teacher caved and told us after most of the class left…maybe my brain altered that memory after I learned later.

I remember going home from school with my mom just like a normal day.

She has since told me know (after I asked a million questions) that my parents left the TV off that day to not freak us kids out more.

Since then my mom has told me that she saw the first tower get hit and then had to go to a doctor’s appointment. She saw the second hit in the office but she said she remembers it feeling surreal.

I feel bad. I feel so bad that I don’t remember more. Then I think of the kids who are living now that weren’t alive when it happened; the kids who think of it as an event in history, something that is in history books. They don’t know how things changed after that day. I was in first grade and I still get it.

I remember my first-grade crush’s dad going to New York City to help look through the rubble. He was in the FBI or a police officer or something…I can’t remember that part.

Fifteen years later, I look for every opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of that day because there are so many heroes that people don’t even think about.

Of course,ย the first responders are heroes. Of course, everyone who looked for survivors and helped rebuild after is a hero.

However, the passengers on Flight 93? The people who jumped out of the World Trade Center? They’re my heroes too.

These are people who looked death, evil and terrorism in the face and said, “You know what? You can’t have my freedom.”

I had the opportunity to go to the Flight 93 memorial this past summer, and it was phenomenal. I had the opportunity to hear phone calls from people on the plane who tried to reassure their family members more than they cried about the fact that they were probably going to die.

I got to see the ground where the plane crashed.

It was nothing short of phenomenal.

I don’t know what I can do, but I want to do everything I can to continue to honor the lives of these inspirational people. I want to make sure generations to come understand that while this was a huge day in the history of our country, a day of massive amounts of pain and sadness that irrevocably changed our country, there were also some amazing displays of humanity, love and commitment on that day..

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