I rewrote this post about a dozen times. It’s difficult to put into words an event that changed America’s lives forever…
I can’t believe it has been ten years since my city was devastated by terror attacks. It is so hard to fathom the amount of time that has passed because I still see people living in fear all around me. They say that although the towers fell, our city has risen above the attacks, and while I think this is true, fear is still among us all. When travelling in the city, there are billboards that say “if you see something, say something” with a picture of a duffle bag. This is enough to drive someone insane.
Between conspiracy theories, president bashing, and fingers still being pointed, people can start to lose sight of the thousands of lives that were lost, and millions of lives that were changed. I personally did not lose anyone in these terror attacks. I did lose my sense of security living in this big city. For so long I wanted to leave, but at the same time I could not imagine living anywhere else.
I remember that day so clear, and the days after the attacks. It was my first year in college and I was in the car, waiting for class to start. I saw a lot of commotion on campus and did not really want to leave the safety of my car, so I stayed put until I heard more details. On the radio, I hear that a plane crashed into one of the buildings. I finally decide to leave my car and follow the crowd. On the hilly campus, it was easy to see the NYC skyline and thick black smoke coming from the towers. even in the distance, it was still so clear. Considering the amount of commotion to get to a location with a view of the city, students were quiet – just watching, not realizing that this was a terror attack. Until the next plane hit.
In the upcoming days, you could not escape the smell that lingered in the boroughs. There was a fog that loomed over the city for days. I remember thinking I just wanted to leave – I didn’t want to be in NYC anymore. This was not our first terror attack and who knew if it was the last. I’m glad I stayed, but I always question my decision of raising my daughter in the city.
To those that were directly affected, and the thousands of lives that were lost, they can rebuild our city, but we will never forget September 11, 2001.