I was ten years old when the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 took place. I remember being at home (I was homeschooled) when my older sister called my mom and said to turn on the news, that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. If I remember correctly, we were watching when the second plane hit. We saw, on live television, when the towers fell.
At ten, I don’t think I understood what was happening completely. But I do remember the looks on the faces of those around me, the subdued tone of voice, the pain radiating from my family. I can only imagine what it must have been for those there or their families.
This year, more than any other in the last eighteen years, I took time to reflect on what happened, to look up videos about those who died and those who survived. To read about the people aboard United 93, which crashed before it could reach its destination, due to those on board fighting back.
It’s heartbreaking to read through these stories, to hear the calls made by passengers to their families, telling them they loved them. To see pictures of men and women jumping from the highest floors of the towers, knowing there was no surviving the fall, but desperate to get out of the hell they were living in the building.
Too often, these events in history are forgotten. The bare facts may be in a textbook, or mentioned in the news, but there is so much left unsaid. And that can be dangerous. We need to remember the things we learned, what we felt, and we need to teach those things to those who can’t remember because they weren’t yet born.
It’s up to us to help the world become a better place, and that is not done by forgetting the events and moments that changed not only our lives, but the world.