I can’t believe it has already been 11 years since that dreadful September day. I never really have spent much time reflecting on it–where I was, how I felt, etc. It was the same year my dad passed away, so I guess you can say that when September 11th happened, I was already in “grief-mode”, living in the shock and anguish of my own loss to really understand the gravity of what happened to our country and to the families of the thousands of people who lost their lives that day. I was in the 8th grade, living with a family, when the lady, Robyn, called me upstairs to see the news. She was saying that the World Trade Center was hit by an airplane. I had no idea what the World Trade Center was, but I saw this gigantic building in smoke and flames. Before I could grasp what was happening, eyes glued on the screen, I saw the 2nd plane hit. My heart sunk. I was rushing out the door to Middle School & pretty much every class was cancelled. We watched the news, some cried, others, like me, were scared. By then they had called it a “Terrorist Attack”. What did that mean? I specifically remember thinking that ‘things are going to be way different’. I was pretty sick the whole day, and I did shed tears. It hit me that there were thousands of people were experiencing the nightmare, the horror that I had just experienced a few months prior–that of a dear loved one. And my heart bled for them. It still does. I still feel the heaviness of the loss of my father and know that many people are feeling the pain of their loved ones absence on this day. And I felt anger. Anger that as a young girl I had to feel unsafe in my own country and that was a very chilling feeling. I was angry for the people whose loved ones were taken by such an awful act of violence and had to join me on that awful, lonely journey called Grief. I was uncertain of the future, not quite sure what to expect, and much to young to really comprehend the effects that That Day would have, even a decade later. But in a way it opened my eyes. Made me appreciate freedom & how fortunate I am to live in a country that is free. Makes me appreciate the courage and bravery our military men and women have. Makes me not want to take for granted our liberties, my family, my country.. And beyond politics, foreign affairs, and everything else that this Day entails, September 11th is a precious reminder that each day is a gift, its not a right and its not guaranteed, so I will definitely be telling those close to me that I love them and I’ll hug my children a little longer tonight.