This post first appeared two years ago on my photography website. I have updated it slightly to share with you today.
Twelve years ago, I was the ripe old age of 16. That year, I got my driver’s license and gracefully knocked down a light pole in my friend’s front yard while backing out. I went on a family vacation on the BEST Disney Cruise in the WHOLE WORLD. I will never forget that cruise, or the belly button ring I came home with from St. Thomas – or my grandfather’s laughter when we (my sister did it too) told him that his “souvenir” money paid for the piercing.
When school started in August, I was enjoying my Junior year. I had the best teachers that year and was ready for anything! My sights were set on college and the future was in my hands.
Then, on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 at 8:46am EST in New York City, our whole future changed. My high school had televisions in most classrooms but we didn’t find out about the attacks until 2nd period, which was about 9:30am EST. My 2nd period English teacher was pulled from the classroom by someone making the rounds, and when he returned, the TV was immediately turned on to broadcast the breaking news and coverage of the events in NYC.
I don’t think I took a breath or felt my body for an hour. I still feel that way sometimes when I think about this day.
The past 12 years have been full of so many changes. I graduated high school, went to college at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI, got a business degree in Real Estate & Finance, got a job right out of school in Chicago working for a commercial real estate firm, met my [future] husband, started my photography business, married my husband, endured a deployment to Iraq with my husband, married my husband again (!), got a puppy, lived in a total of 10 homes/apartments, and adopted a second puppy.
Life has been great – but in the back of my mind, Tuesday, September 11, 2001 lives on.
Today we remember the lives that were lost and sacrificed on that day and as a result of that day. We will never, ever forget.