Friday, September 11, 2015

9/11: We adapt

It’s been 14 years. You know what I’m talking about. The day America changed. The day every person old enough to remember, will remember EXACTLY what it was they were doing when it happened.  For me, I rolled over to snooze my alarm clock like I do every day before work, when I realized there wasn't music playing, but the horrifying sound of people screaming.  This was the sound of people in shock. The sound of chaos that was not understood yet. This was only the sound of the fear after one plane had hit the world trade center.

Was it an accident? How did this happen? There are rules set in place so this wouldn't happen.  I sat glued to the television with my father trying to understand just like the rest of the world. What had happened? Another sound of screaming. It happened again.  What had I just witnessed? This was no accident.  I was scared, but now I had to go to work

I was in my 1st full week of college as a freshman.  I lived 2 hours from this horrible event in a community that is very connected to New York City. I watched people drop to their knees in my local grocery store where I worked when they couldn't reach a loved one. So many emotions came through my line that day. Sadness. Anger. Fear.  I watched local law enforcement race to guard a satellite in my town. I watched the world mourn on TV, on newspaper covers, and right in front of my face.  All walks of life pasted through that grocery store that day. So many emotions happened right in front of this kid on the verge of being an adult.

It didn't stop when I got home. I watched my mom keep a nervous pace when all four of her brothers were missing.  I watched more people mourning for their unborn children who would never know their fathers. I watched my uncle on live TV setting up lights in hope to find more living people. I heard tears of joy when my mom realized it was her brother and that he was safe. I heard more tears of joy when brother # 2 was located saved by the grace of God. His day was supposed to start working in the towers, but a last minute change lead him away from the area. A miracle for sure.

No one could get home. No one could make phone calls. We prayed we would get all the confirmations we needed. We did everything we could to stay sane and not worry about things we did not know. For me and my family, we made it through this day safe. For many it did not work out  that way and I will be forever grateful that we got lucky.

Whole lives changed that day.  America changed that day. The world changed that day.

NYC Today - Adapted - Photo Copyrighted by The Trish List
Today I woke up. I am forever grateful for that. Today more than ever it really hit me that I have lived my whole adult life post- 9/11. Every decision I have made has been in the world where everyone is always on edge. Travelling is stressful. Liquids are dangerous.  At the same time this is considered normal to me now. I expect it. I know what to expect and scary events don’t scare me half as much as they did 14 years ago.  That scares me more. We adapted to expect tragedy.

We always adapt. 

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