13 years come to pass incredibly quickly.
On September 11, 2001, my father was in New York City on business. I was preparing to head off to school at Quarton Elementary during the beginning of what was the second grade
I distinctly remember coming to the bottom of the stairs and seeing my mother clearly distraught, watching the horror that unfolded on TV.
Being the uninformed 8 year-old that I was, I cheerily submitted, “It’s okay! They’ll build new ones!”
On September 27, I will be travelling to one of the sites of the most impactful event of the 21st century in America to see “The new one,” I had prophesized.
They built a tower on the rubble of the World Trade Centers that has been named “The Freedom Tower” and it stands; get this, 1,776 feet tall. If that isn’t American enough for you, I don’t have anything else to say to you.
More than anything it brings to light the incredible spirit of this country that in recent years has gone wayward. Knock us down and we’ll get back up, and most of the time, in grand fashion.
I remember going to school and seeing friends who were, like me, blissfully unaware of the world as we knew it crashing down around us.
From what my father told me, he saw disaster in the most horrible context while I stared out the windows at the blue skies that we shared with New York.
Hundreds of miles away my father was witnessing a tragic scene. Bodies fell from a hundred stories, two of the tallest buildings in the world crumbled to a massive cloud of dust while the blue sky turned dark with ash.
Unable to get on a plane, he took a rental car and drove the 10-hour trip back to Detroit days later. Footing that rental bill meant less than seeing his family after what he had seen and endured.
Take time this September 11 to reflect on American spirit, remember the lost souls and be proud to live in this country.