It has been 13 years, and I still remember that day clearly. I had just begun my junior year at Clemson University, and my roommate and I were leaving our apartment to go to a sociology class. Another roommate almost backed into us in our apartment complex parking lot as she was listening to the radio.
We got to class hearing bits and pieces of what was happening to our country – we spent the class period watching the news. We spent every class period that day watching the news. I waited to hear that family workingin DC was ok. The footage of the tragedies happening in New York, Pennsylvania and DC just. kept. coming.
Every year, as this day arrives, I relive that day in my head, the fear I had for our country, for New York city andWashington D.C., for my family and friends who were working in those cities. I can only begin to imagine the grief that those who lost close friends and family members feel daily, but especially on this day. My heart goes out to them.
And at the same time, my heart is filled with strength, pride, and appreciation for this great nation that I have the privilege to live in. Earlier this spring our sleepy little town had a water main break and we were faced with not having clean water pouring from our faucets, and I was briefly offended and upset at the inconvenience – and then I was grateful. I am thankful – for the ability to have clean water, to feel safe in my home, to be able to speak freely, to be able to make so so SO many choices that so many do not have the opportunity to do so.
I am thankful that my country is diverse, a melting pot, of ideas, of styles, of people, of history. I am thankful that as a woman in the United States of America, I am afforded so many choices that women in other parts of the world are not. I am thankful that I have a job that pays my bills, where I enjoy what I do. I am thankful that I didn’t lose anyone close to me on September 11, 2001, but I am sad for our country that we lost so many. However, we will never forget. We will continue to remember those who serve, those who have fought, the innocent lives that were lost that tragic day, and the way our country pulled together to rebuild.
Today I am remembering; I am grieving for the families and friends of lives lost, and I am celebrating our great nation.
“When people endure a traumatic event, they are either defeated or made stronger. On Sept. 11, I told New Yorkers, ‘I want you to emerge stronger from this.’ My words were partially a hope and partially an observation that people in New York City handle big things better than little things. I could not be more proud of the way my city responded.” –Rudy Giuliani
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” –John F. Kennedy
“One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation evermore.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
Lauren is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon! Thanks for stopping by!