I woke up to the morning news September 11, 2001 on a friend’s couch while I was living in Santa Barbara. I remember the smell of coffee wafting in from their small kitchen and the sound of my friends’ roommate getting ready for work. Despite my self-indulgent, 21-year-old perspective, everything froze when I heard and saw the footage of those planes-turned-missiles hitting the towers. Time froze. My roommates and I stayed home from work and we all sat on the couch for hours, stunned, just wondering about what to do and what would happen next.
This is my little sliver of a memory on a day that has left an indelible mark on the lives and psyche of all Americans. I know people who lost families in the attack and in many ways I feel like the last part of American innocence had been destroyed. We lost something that we once had and can never really get it again.
We lived in a different emotional and psychological state for a while after that, all of us on one level or another. I feel like we’ve overcome that fear and facing it is something that makes us American, the desire to move ahead with pride and dignity. We moved forward – but, we never forgot: How could we? After so many of us lost loved ones? After so many of us were moved by the first responders who volunteered, risking their own safety, police officers, firefighters, neighbors and complete strangers, to name a few, to help. After we realized that we weren’t as unreachable or safe as maybe we previously thought we had been.
On this day I want to remember the fallen, remember those who stood tall and were brave for all of us. I’ve always found that talking about events like this are the best way to heal and to remember.
Please share your 9/11 stories with us, South Pasadena. Leave your comments below. Let us all remember and heal together.