On this day 11 years ago, I stood on my high school lawn in the heart of Washington, DC and watched the smoke rise from the Pentagon mere miles away. Despite the constant wail of sirens, cries of worried students and teachers, televised images of collapsing buildings and desperate jumpers, and clogged phone lines that prevented me from contacting anyone I loved, I was remarkably free of panic. It was almost too other-worldly to even be real. “This kind of thing just doesn’t happen here,” I thought…”Is this really happening?”
Of course, it does happen here. It did happen here. And the world has never been the same since. It would be easy to say it’s changed for the worst. But actually, there has been so much good, too. Since that very morning to this very day, we have seen the best in people right along side the worst of them. From the selflessness of our first responders, to the efforts of our government, to the sacrifices of our military, we have given our all to keep the loss of life that happened on 9/11 from ever happening again. It’s not an easy, fool-proof, or black-and-white battle, but with every day that goes by without a 9/11, we achieve victory.
Politics aside, we must never forget.
This was the night President Obama announced that Seal Team 6 took out Osama Bin Laden and thousands rushed to the White House in support.
Moment of silence on the White House lawn, 9/11/2012
One World Trade Center Memorial, 9/11/2012