Today is September 11th. It is the 11 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I didn’t personally know anyone that was lost that day, and don’t really even know anyone that knows anyone. And I love America but wouldn’t consider myself an extremely patriotic person. There are a lot of things going on in this country that I am not proud of at all, and with my recent experience abroad I think I feel even further detached from my status as an American. Don’t worry, I’m not about to get all political on you – that is just not my style. And this isn’t really about being American anyways. Its about being human. The day of the attacks, I was a junior in high school. When I first learned about what was going on, I was sitting in Mr. Glatki’s morning English class when some girl I didn’t know nonchalantly walked into the classroom and said something along the lines of “turn on the TV, there’s a terrorist attack” and walked out in the same odd way. I was 16 going on 17 at the time, so I really knew nothing about government, international relations, terrorism, or even what the Twin Towers were. All I knew was that just a few weeks earlier, we had dropped my sister off at college in New York and the with each passing minute I just wanted to know where she was and that she was OK. And I wanted to go home and be with my family. The rest of the day was spent going from class to class, being glued to the TV screen, watching and re-watching footage of planes flying into buildings, the towers smoking and collapsing, and eyewitnesses trying to make sense of it all. It was surely not a good day at all. Confusing, emotional, and sad. Year after year that goes by, you expect the images and old footage of it all to become less shocking, but it hasn’t and I don’t think that it ever will. Everything ever put together about 9/11 is an emotional rollercoaster to watch. Its like you don’t want to watch, but can’t look away. You don’t want to be sad about it anymore, but can’t stop crying for the people that were desperately jumping out of buildings, stuck on a hijacked airplane or top floor of a tower, or those being so kind and brave to recount the last conversation they had with their loved ones for some documentary. Regardless of your political opinions or religious affiliation or opinion about what really happened in regards to the attacks, I hope this day does for you what it does for me. It reminds me that each day will start just like any other day, but it can all change in an instant. Nobody is immune to tragedy, loss, or death in this world and there is no way to plan for it. We have to do everything we can to take advantage of the time we have doing things that are important to us and letting the people we love know that we love them. My sister chose the perfect quote to post to facebook this morning from one of my favorites – Deepak Chopra:

“September 11 was a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent and uncertain. Therefore, we must make use of every moment and nuture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity, and laughter.”