A silent tear rolled down my cheek watching the news this morning.
Reporters, civilians, and family members of 9/11 victims read name after name of those who perished that fateful day ten years ago. Nearly 3,000 names had to be read. I think I only listened to 30 before I forced myself to turn off the TV.
It amazes me that ten years have passed so quickly. Although, quick, they have not passed silently. Every year on Septmeber 11th, we remember. We remember those brave enough to enter the burning towers without hesitation to save the lives of others, we remember the lives we lost, we remember to never take a single day for granted. We remember with tears, we remember with prayers, we remember with shared stories.
It was a Tuesday morning ten years ago that my sixth grade English teacher was beyond suspiciously peering out of the classroom windows. It was hard for her to see the sky through the school house windows that only opened half way. I remember her eyes were the only thing that hinted at fear in her typically calm composure.
I remember most of my classmates were being called out of the classroom, for "doctor appointments" our administration would assure us, but I didn't really understand something must have gone seriously wrong until my mom met me half way on the route I always walked home on my own.
This year I will be in the sixth grade again, but instead as an educator teaching a history lesson to students who were being brought into this world the year of 2001.
I am torn between overwhelming feelings of grief, and satisfying moments of pride. On my drive back to campus this morning I drove under two over-passes filled with civilians and local fire trucks waving American Flags and smiling to the passing commuters. I cried when I saw them. I don't know their story, I don't know if they have a personal connection to the losses 3,640 days ago, but I do know that whatever they are feeling is the same that I am, and it has unified us in a way the Anti-American terrorists never could have imagined. What they hoped would tear us apart, has actually made us stronger. United we stand, Indivisible.
I snapped both of these photos at two different points on my drive down I-95.
"I thank God for my life, and for the stars and stripes. May Freedom forever fly, let it ring. Salute the ones who died, the ones that give their lives, so we don't have to sacrifice all the things we love."