by: Joelle Charbonneau
Today the sun rose in the east. It will set in the west. Across the world people will get out of bed, eat breakfast, go to work, to school, to stores and to hundreds of other destinations. Rain or shine, today is a just a normal day.
And yet it isn’t.
Eleven years ago today, the world shifted on its axis. War from an unknown source fell from the sky. Smoke billowed from the twin towers. Heroes rushed to save those inside. Heroes became victims as the towers fell, the Pentagon was struck and passengers aboard another flight performed a selfless act that saved lives at the cost of their own.
Today is a day to remember those who were lost to the attacks. To remember those who saved lives and those who could not be saved.
I remember where I was when the towers were struck and the world around me became shadowed with fear. I was inside United Airlines World Headquarters under lockdown surrounded by those who wondered if they knew someone who was on one of the planes that had become weapons in the sky.
I remember the heartbreak.
And finally the hope that tomorrow the sun would rise again and things would get better.
The sun has risen today, but I have only to think back to that day and I feel the knot in my stomach tighten and tears burn my throat. Because today is not like any other day. It is a day to remember. To reflect and to promise those who died that we will not take their sacrifice for granted.
Today is September 11th and I remember where I was. What I felt. And what I learned. And I’m glad. Some things are not meant to fade or be forgotten.
To commemorate the day, I would like you to tell me where you were when the planes hit the towers and the world changed. What do you remember? What lessons about the people around you did you learn? What do you hope we never forget?