9/11: Never Forget
Picture courtesy of Wikipedia
On August 11, 2001, I made my first ever trip to New York City. I was so excited to finally see the city in real life, beyond what I knew from movies, TV shows, and books. I remember walking past the Empire State Building and gawking at its impressive height (who knew that years later, I’d end up living right next to it!). I recall wandering through Chinatown, taking in the sights and sounds of a crowded yet lively neighborhood. Most of all, I remember going to the top of the World Trade Center and admiring the view of the sprawling metropolis down below. As a souvenir, I bought a magnet from the WTC gift shop. It was in the shape of an apple, like the Big Apple, with the city skyline embossed on it.
Exactly one month later, I watched in horror as the Twin Towers went down. I was sitting in my college dorm room in Boston, from where one of the doomed planes had flown out. The pain, confusion, and terror that I and the people around me felt was real. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the world was never the same. The impact that this single event has had on the lives of so many is unimaginable, and the ripples are felt even today. Living in this city which I now call home, I still see pictures of the WTC in people’s homes, stores, and on the streets with the words “Never Forget”. I am always moved when I see that. I think it speaks to our strength and resilience to move forward but to never forget what happened that day. I still have that magnet from 11 years ago and when I look at it, it tells me a story. It tells me about my first visit to the Big Apple when I was in college, it tells me the importance of living each day fully, and it tells me never to forget.