This past Tuesday marked 11 years since September 11th ,2001. 11 years. That means I have lived as much of my life in a post 9/11 world as I did in my ignorance of such tragedy. One day at 11 years old I suddenly learned what terrorism was. I understood how it must have felt for Americans when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
I realized that I was living history. I realized that I was scared, and that I was so small. I was truly aware for the first time that there were people in the world who were willing to die to keep me safe.
For me, and the millions of American children who sat in schools, and in homes, watching our futures change, this was the day we grew up.
We were no longer ignorant of the evil in the world. It could not be ignored.
I think about 9/11 every time I look at a calender of the month of September. Every time I go through security in an airport, or a museum. Every time I watch an old movie with the skyline of New York.
Signs for the Pentagon, that used to be just road signs, remind me of that morning, and the dozens of mornings after. Each time I see a torn flag, or a building that is in ruins, my mind goes back to the never ending footage of Ground Zero.
I can never forget.
I don't ever want my children to have to know the way it felt to sit there and watch as our country was changed forever. But I don't ever want to forget. I do want them to know that there were untold thousands who died that day, and in the months that followed. I want them to know that firefighters, policemen, EMT's, soldiers, doctors, and everyday citizens who were not victims of the initial attacks who chose to serve, despite the risks. I want them to be proud of the way our nation stood together after the attack. I want them to make the choice to forgive those who harmed our nation, as I have. I want them to fully appreciate the freedoms that they have. I want them to be fully convinced that God was sovereign on that day, just as he is on the days of peace.
I never want to forget.