I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to write anything other than “We will never forget” for every remaining Sept. 11th of my life. I realize that at the 11 year mark it is still relatively fresh in everyone’s mind, and there will come a time when it’s maybe not the first thing we think of when September 11th is spoken, or written. But by the same token, 11 years later, it is still such a jarring thing to think about; so heartbreaking and invasive and fresh.
Even after most of my memories of that first semester of college have grown a little foggy, I can remember so many details of that day. From wondering why so few made it to our first tap class of the day, to standing in my dorm lobby watching the tv, completely confused about what was happening but starting to put the pieces together, to everyone gathering at the chapel on campus, to our company dance rehearsal that afternoon–because the show must go on–to the campus being on lockdown because of the proximity of the military base to our school and rumors of planes circling some important building in Dallas…I remember all of it.
…and I was so far away from ground zero, but that day, we were all one. Our hearts ached with the people in New York City whose world was absolutely turned upside down and at the Pentagon, and, though we didn’t even realize it at the time, the heroic Americans on United 93 who undoubtably saved countless lives.
I don’t mean to wax on sounding overly patriotic or sentimental, but I think so often we choose to suppress those memories and the feelings they bring up. We forget how in those subsequent hours and days and weeks and months we all stood together united in our identity as Americans. And that is something so powerful. I hope we never forget that.original photos by Jason Wilson and Tom Hannigan.