16 years ago today, at 8 am started out like every other day for everyday Americans. Families were eating breakfast. Kids were running towards the classic yellow school buses to join their friends for another day of school. Husbands were straightening their ties as wives were tidying up the kitchen. Many were boarding planes, not knowing the nightmare that awaited them. Everything was so blessedly normal for 46 minutes. At 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, is when so many worlds belonging to multiple people flipped upside down. It was that very moment that the United States of America began its spiral into chaos.
Now I know since that day, multiple stories began surfacing. Conspiracies, facts that got blurred between the lines beneath monstrous piles of paperwork. Who's at fault? Where do we place the blame? The people demanded justice, be it al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, or our very own government, and rightfully so. That day was a monstrosity. I'm not trying to sway any opinions on what transpired that day, we all have our own. Where ever the blame lies, it doesn't change the facts. There were four coordinated attacks, two of the towers belonging to our World Trade Center in New York City, The Pentagon, headquarters of our Department of Defense, in Arlington County, Virginia, and the last being the heart of nation, Washington D.C. which thankfully didn't make contact because of the actions of incredibly brave men and women.
In the attacks themselves we lost 2,997 souls. On top of that toll, over 6,000 people were injured. An ungodly amount of hours were put into search and rescue with months put into recovering after the disaster. This was a day when every American, with eyes glued to the television and our hearts in our throats, stood together. Despite gender, ethnicity, age, or political views, we all felt the pain of that day and the time that followed. We thought of those brave men, women, and animals tirelessly stumbling through rubble searching for survivors. We cried for those who were trapped, terrified that they were living their last minutes. We comforted those worrying and praying that their families and friends were safe.
There are children, alive today, who read about these tragedies in a history book, while there are some who will never meet their parent. A mother or father who will never see their child's face again. Memories that will never be made with a sibling or laughter that will never be shared with a friend.
Knowing all of this, it's utterly heartbreaking to see hate spread this day. Hate on this day is throwing disrespect on those who tirelessly saved lives, it's making light of the pain of those who lost something, and it tarnishes the memory of those who lost their lives. It's not about placing blame, nor is it a day for our government. We do not condone the violence that took place all those years ago. Nor do we condone the violence since or all the deaths of innocents on all sides.
We will, however, celebrate the strength of the American people. Look at us, We made it through hell and came back kicking and throwing punches. Each of us has such a unique spirit and we make up a very proud country. Why are we such a proud country? All because we are proud of our people.
On this day, call up your parents and tell them you love them. Have a beer with a friend. Spend just ten more minutes on the floor playing with your child. Make the same dinner you've made multiple times before because it's someone's favorite. Sit on the back porch with the person who holds your heart and just dream together. Play video games with your nagging sibling. If there is one thing you do today, steal time because we won't always have it and when we don't, we will want it back. I promise you you won't regret it.