It’s hard to believe that ten years have already passed since I was sitting in my sixth grade pre-algebra class. The school year had just begun, and rather than learning mathematical equations, my class was decorating my teacher’s bulletin board. I was assigned to cut fabric, of course, as I took the scraps and turned them into accessories (my dream was to be a fashion designer). As we danced around the classroom to the radio playing, little did we know that the world we were familiar with was about to change.
Ten years later, I still remember how everything felt. My mom, sister and I watched the towers fall from our town, as my dad went to help refugees flocking from New York to New Jersey. Train stations in the surrounding towns had parking lots filled with empty cars whose owners would never return. Schools closed early as worried parents made their kids come home. Televisions, radios, computers blasted with the same scarring news and photos. The world around seemed filled with panic.
Ten years later, I still love New York City as much as I did then. To me, NYC had been my Mecca of fashionable fantasy, of luxury, of sophistication. For a while, it was difficult for people to believe that NYC was still a safe place to be. After our country proved vulnerable on September eleventh, big cities appeared risky and a harbor for future problems. All I knew was that I couldn’t lose my city. I hated having to live in fear, and sometimes, unfortunately, I feel like I still do.
The memory of September eleventh is something that continuously lingers in our minds. Living in such close proximity to New York City, it is still unbelievable how real everything felt. I remember visiting the Newseum in Washington DC one afternoon, and watching Midwestern tourists view a film on September eleventh. They watched with awe, yet I felt even more breath taken; I had actually seen that in person.
I am thankful to have not lost any family members or friends in the attacks of September eleventh and even more thankful to still have my city. While Americans, the United States, and New York City have come so far after these ten years, the memory of September eleventh will remain embedded in our minds forever.