Today is the 8th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy. I can hardly believe that eight years have gone by since this terrible day. When I was growing up, I would always hear people talk about where they were the day President Kennedy was shot or older people telling about where they were the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. I'll never forget where I was when our country was attacked on September 11, 2001.
I was just beginning my junior year at Clemson. It was a Tuesday morning and my first class didn't start until 9:30, so I usually took my time getting ready. I had just gotten out of the shower and turned on the TV so I could watch the Today Show while I was getting ready. It was about 8:45. Not long after I turned the TV on, Matt Lauer announced that one of their cameras had caught images of a plane hitting on of the towers of the World Trade Center and they would be cutting to this camera and find out what was going on. Within a few minutes, I watched the second plane fly into the other tower. I remember thinking what in the world is going on....are we at war...was this a terrible accident? No one seemed to know what was happening. I continued watching the news until I absolutely had to leave for class. I remember that as I walked to class, I kept looking up into the beautiful blue sky, wondering how something like this could happen.
It only took me about fifteen minutes to walk to class, but by then people were sharing new details. A third plane had hit the Pentagon. Both towers had fallen. A fourth plane landed in a field in Pennsylvania. I don't remember learning anything in class that day. Within a few hours, a lot of professors began cancelling classes, out of respect.
We all know what became of this day. We remember the stories of survivors talking about all the firefighters who were running into the Towers as civilians were trying to get out. We remember the stories of the people on that fourth plane taking matters into their own hands to keep the terrorists from committing a final act on our country. We remember watching all the members of Congress standing on the steps of the Capitol Building, singing God Bless America.
But now eight years have gone by. Are our memories of this day as fresh as they were that day? Probably not. No one wants to constantly re-live the worst day of their life. Just as we want our worst memories to fade, the memories of this day are fading too. However, we should never forget.
We should never forget that almost 3,000 innocent people lost their lives that day.
We should never forget that 343 firefighters lost their lives that day, simply doing their jobs and answering the call of duty.
We should never forget what our country went through on this day.
We should never forget.....