It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting in junior high, making up a test I had missed the week before. And then, out of nowhere, the school practically shut down. No lessons were being taught. No tests were taken. No one roamed the halls. We all sat in classrooms, staring at the television, watching 9/11 unfold in front of our eyes. We watched the madness that was happening and were filled with questions that our teachers couldn't answer.
The planes. The chaos. The smoke. The first responders. The second attack. The mayhem. The lives lost. The devastation. The day we'll never forget, as 2, 977 people were killed in New York City, Washington, DC, and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Of the 2, 749 people known to have been killed at the World Trade Center site, only 58% were identified by recovered physical remains. source My heart absolutely breaks for every life lost and family affected by this terrible tragedy. As the world remembers the terrorist attacks and the chaos surrounding it, many families remember it as the day they lost their loved ones, and they mourn. Fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, cousins...all lives lost at the hands of foreign enemies on American soil.
Many of the lost lives were Americans that were there to render aid in any way they could. Today and every day, we honor the men and women that risked their lives to save others. 343 NYC firefighters, 23 NYC police officers and 37 other officers at the Port Authority lost their lives that day as they, without question, put on their uniforms and went to America's aid. Those first responders are heroes.
I pray for our nation, for all involved in that terrifying, tragic day. I pray for peace and comfort in the hearts of those who lost loved ones. I pray for America, that we stand strong against our enemies and band closer together as a nation. I pray for the heroes - the uniformed men and women, whether they be paramedics, firefighters, or in the military - that risk their lives day in and day out to help their own and serve our country. Today and every day (but especially today), I'm America proud.
We will never forget.