I remember going to Spanish class.
I remember “Pongen sus libros bajos sus sillos,” Senora Harter’s opening remarks to us before we took our daily quiz.
I remember lunchtime art class:
“All after school activities are cancelled today,” came over the PA system.
“I wonder what’s going on,” I said to my tablemate. I can still see his face so clearly, and he had on a tan shirt that day.
“I’m not sure, I think some planes flew into a building,” he said.
I remember our study hall type period after lunch and looking at maps.
I remember hushed whispers about what was going on.
I remember the kids whose teachers had turned the news on telling the rest of us what was happening.
I remember going straight for the television when I got home.
I remember Planes. Fire. People running. Falling buildings. Smoke. Screams. Sirens. Tears. Fear.
I remember watching the same loop over and over until finally Mama turned it off.
I remember the quiet minutes on the couch.
I remember looking at the sky that night knowing that all the lights I saw were the stars. No planes flew.
Those are my memories from that day.
In the days, months and years that have followed, the memories of that day have stayed with me (as they have everyone else). But as time goes by, more memories are added.
I remember heroes, as emergency responders and everyday civilians fought to save as many lives as possible.
I remember acts of bravery, as people risked their own lives to help strangers.
I remember patriotism, as American flags appeared all over the neighborhood.
I remember hope, as people searched and waited to hear from their loved ones.
I remember selflessness, as people donated what they could, including life, to the rescue efforts.
I remember stories of people going up, not down.
I still remember.
What do you remember?
I found a cool memorial event that is held nationwide and year-round. It’s called the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. It’s a celebration of fire fighters’ “journey through dedication, training and physical fitness”. I think it’s also a celebration of their grit, determination and mental strength. The event started in 2005 when five Colorado fire fighters climbed 110 flights of stairs to memorialize the climb into the towers on September 11. Each year it continued to grow and now has events all over the place, and at all different times of the year.
I can’t even imagine climbing that many stairs! And these guys do it in full gear too. It’s a physical challenge that’s definitely on my mind now – and what a great celebration of all the good that can be found in such a tragedy.
Here’s a link to the website if you’re interested in finding one near you!