As everyone knows, today is the 10 year anniversary of the heinous terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and on the Pentagon. I remember very clearly that day. I remember where I was, what I was thinking, what I was wearing, the complete loss of appetite and desire to do anything but stare at the tv...But what I remember the most was the gravity it laid on my soul. What I remember most was my 15th birthday.
Today is now my 25th birthday. I am a quarter-century old. I have changed so much since that morning 10 years ago, but the gravity still sits as heavy as it ever did. Please don't get me wrong; this isn't about me being upset that one of the greatest tragedies of our time happened on my birthday. I'm not naive enough to think that it was a personal affront to me. But ever since that day, birthdays have been a little bittersweet.
One thing I clearly remember was the pain I was in. That year, I had spent the better part of the week coughing up blood and running a fever. I had a nasty little bronchial infection (the bronchial tube is part of the respiratory system i.e. lungs) and felt like I'd been hit by a truck physically. Each breath felt like needles sticking in my lungs and throat, and I was unbelievable exhausted. Then, the tragic events in the East...Suddenly, I felt like the truck came back and ran over me mentally. I was heartbroken at the loss of life and complete disregard for the value of each life that was taken. I was furious that someone could condone what was done, claiming it was what their God desired and that what they did was righteous.
I was horrified by the events of that day; scared to death to go to school when I got better. I had nightmares for weeks. The idea of getting on an airplane was terrifying. As many have said, I will never forget that day 10 years ago.
Now, the real reason I decided to post: I am ok with sharing my birthday with that day. That sounds bizarre, but I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than to remember the fallen heroes from that day. For that matter, I am honored to do so, along with remembering everyone affected from that September morning. Heroes transcend time. 10 years, 20 years, 100...It doesn't matter. Those brave men and women gave their lives trying to save everyone they could. They are heroes. I am proud to share my birthday with them as a chance to remember them.
I'm sure you've all thought back to that day; where you were, what you felt...I pray we never forget. As long as I live, I pledge to always remember that day. Things change, scars heal, but the memory remains. Thank you to all those who gave their lives or sacrificed so much. You will never be forgotten.