On this grey, infamous day in American history we remember those we lost (rest peacefully), and honor those who continue to fight for us and our freedom; we will never forget the pain we endured on 9/11. It was a bright, sunny day in New York City that began with normal conversations and coffee, but ended with an altered world and incredible loss. I was almost six years old and despite my young age, I remember that day as if it were five minutes ago. Many of my family members who currently reside (and did reside) in New York City were in the city (close to Ground Zero) when the towers collapsed, and I remember not knowing if they were safe (my brother included), or my dad, who worked for the State of New Jersey and was in lock down. We had no idea what was going to happen next and that is always the most terrifying aspect of tragedy…waiting. I remember the look on my mother’s face as our TV flashed with images of the towers, smoke, and the changed NYC skyline, and realizing that nothing would ever be the same. I have a beautiful, personal connection with NYC; I grew up going there on weekends, spending every holiday in the lit up city, and spending my teenage years getting lost in the city that never sleeps. I crave the city lights when I go too long without visiting. 9/11 is always an emotional day for me because of the way I feel for my favorite city and because today marks a day we will never escape, but will continue to grow from.
Despite the immense loss, pain, and grief we felt and continue to feel on this day, we must remember to remain strong and never give in to ignorance, hatred, or violence. Terrorists have a 100% failure rate, and to understand that, you must first understand that terrorist attacks always achieve the opposite of what the perpetrators originally wanted. We did not break, fall, or give up…we did the complete opposite. We grew, recovered, and changed. We live in a strange, negative world, but we’re stronger than at times, we realize. Today is a day of reflection and should be a day filled with not only remembrance, but positive thinking. Spend today being silent in more ways than one; get lost in your thoughts and refocus your energy. Do something creative and reflect. Reflection isn’t meant to hinder progress, but encourage us to move beyond what we’ve been through and either rebuild, or keep building (build yourself up, build your family, build your empire, etc.). Move forward with strength, motivation, and a bright smile.
My heart is with those we lost on this somber day and with the families who are forever mourning the loss of their loved ones. My heart is with my favorite city, our gorgeous NYC and the forever altered skyline that has inspired so many artists, writers, and visitors. We love you New York…
I wish everyone a beautiful, healthy, and creative day filled with hope and strength. We will keep fighting and just a like a tree, we allow our leaves to fall, but we never stop growing.