I’ve been thinking all week about what 9/11 would be like on the 10th Anniversary while living in New York. When 9/11 happened, I was in the 7th grade at a sheltered private school in Knoxville, Tennessee. I knew it was a horrible day in our country’s history but I don’t really think I understand how many lives were affected. I was too young and too far away.
On the tenth anniversary, I am in the city in which the towers fell- the city I saw so many pictures of days and weeks after 9/11 in which it seemed like a war zone.
I wanted to make it down to the financial district to somewhat pay my respects, it is an area that I still haven’t been to and I felt that it was a place I should be today. But I came down with a virus, so instead I spent the majority of my day at my first NY walk-in clinic. It was there, with the Time magazine memorial to 9/11 that I saw those pictures of New York that I had not seen in such a long time- the wreckage, the debris, the hurt. Emotions flood over me sitting in the waiting room as I saw the pain that was in my city. It was emotions that I never felt before, feeling a connectedness now to New York. I was so sad.
Then, I filled my prescription and walked outside. It was not somber. People were not mourning. It was a Sunday. Grant it, there was a large amount of mourning today and remembrance in areas of the city, but also, people were living their lives because they had to. It made me proud to be here.
It is almost ironic how people reacted to the earthquake and Hurricane Irene last week, because today I really got to put into perspective how amazing resilient this city is. After 9/11 this city was shook hard and today, people are living their lives. I feel confident living in this city because I know no matter what, New York will bounce back.
Last night, I could see the lights from the 9/11 memorial streak through the sky from my street. It was an amazing tribute. I stopped in the middle of the street to look. It saddened me- imagining the buildings that once were, the lives lost. But the way that those beams powered into the sky gave me so much hope. They were strong and clear and inspirational in the way they stood tall.
This day is sad no matter what. We can’t forget the past. But the way we are still moving and growing stronger into the future makes me proud of my city and my country.