September 11, 2001 is a day I will never..ever forget. It was the day I lost my American innocence. It was the first time in my life I did not feel safe in America. I didn’t even feel safe in my own home. I remember nervously looking outside..for what…don’t ask me…but it felt like it was right outside my door. It FELT like it was all happening right outside my door.

I will never forget that moment when we ALL realized this was no accident. And my god the chills that went through my body in that moment. I will never forget the woman reporters voice…saying “omg..I think another plane…omg…omg….” And remembering that STILL to this day..in 2019…makes me tear up.

For the next two years I watched the news constantly. I naively didn’t want to be unprepared again. (which in hindsight doesn’t make sense) I became anxious when a heard a plane fly over and waited to hear it hit something. I made the decision to make certain I couldn’t bring any more children into this horrible world. When I heard a beeping that sounded like the firefighters body alarms…I felt sick.

There was an absolute difference in everything. There was a clear and defining before and after in everything in our daily lives here in America. We weren’t used to this. This happened elsewhere…not here. And the reality was…this had never happened anywhere before. We were all in shock for years after. There is no doubt in my mind now we all had a different level of PTSD from what happened on that day. I know I did. I’m certain I still do.

One thing I do every year now and have since…is I make myself remember. I don’t want to. But I make myself so that I don’t forget those people who died. So I don’t forget those people who ran towards those buildings. So I don’t forget how it felt and how quickly everything can change. I don’t want to be so naive again. I don’t ever want to forget combing my little girls hair before school and then later thinking…should I go get her from school..is she safe there? I don’t want to forget that because it was a crucial moment for me. It was the moment the American in me grew the fuck up and realized this is what many out there in the world feel on a daily basis. I was given a huge dose of empathy for the world and war torn countries. It didn’t have to happen physically right outside my door. I didn’t have to dodge bullets on the way to a market to have a sense of the lack of control and sadness a human feels when another wishes them dead for simply existing. You knew that existed..you were told about it..but until it hits you at home…until you feel the real threat on your own soil and you suddenly feel the need to protect your children…well it becomes personal. And it becomes a reality. It becomes something not just talked about…it can happen and it did.

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