I remember September 11, 2001 as if it were yesterday.
I’m sure you do as well.
I was junior at the University of Rochester and on the morning of September 11, 2001 I was woken by two hands violently shaking my shoulders. The hands of my roommate…
“Get up… Get up… They’ve hit the Towers… They’ve hit the Towers!”
He yelled not looking back as he ran out of our room to join our friends down the hall.
In that moment… of shock… of disbelief… of confusion I had no idea what I was waking up to.
As I lept out of bed to join my friends a few rooms away it was the silence that scared me.
See I lived in a house full athletes… Loud, roudy, ball-busting, jocks that would make light of even the most offensive circumstance.
Silence meant serious…
Silence meant awful…
Silence meant tragedy…
Silence meant our lives would never be the same…
…and our lives, our lives as Americans, our lives as brothers and sisters of the most caring, giving, compassionate, generous nation the world has ever known would never be the same.
When I arrived no one turned to look.
No one said “Good morning” or “What’s up” or “Hey look what’s going on…”
When I arrived the first plane had just hit the North Tower. There was still mass confusion. Rumors it may have been a missile, other reports a plane, while other news outlets simply had no idea.
When I arrived twenty young men, who’s lives had never known tragedy on this scale, who’s world only hours before had revolved around school, sports, women and booze, who’s trivial scwabbles and disagreements had seemed epic…
…experienced there first taste of true horror.
What We Choose to Do With Our Memory
But this is just my memory.
Everyone has their own.
I choose to share my memory to remember and give thanks.
Sharing these memories honors those who paid the ultimate price that day and those that live with the tragedy and horror to this day.
By remembering we give thanks to the men and women who ran towards the battle and braved the fire and dust and steel and concrete.
By remembering we show pride for the courage of spirit and dedication to duty for first responders who could have hesitated… Who could have given in to the fear…
…but instead answered the call.
…but instead put their life on the line to help complete strangers.
…but instead gave up their life for the possibility of saving the helpless.
See September 11, 2001 was the worst day I’ve ever lived through… But it was my proudest day as an American and a citizen of New York State.
Honor, Thanks, Remember and Share
My story is not unique, nor is it special.
But I could think of no better way to Honor the memory of the victims of 091101.
By remembering them, we honor them all.
Never forget what it means to be American.
When tragedy strikes, all we have is each other.
I hope that today, in whatever way you can or feel comfortable, you will tell your story of September 11, 2001 and remember that day.
Your story, your remembrance, your thanks, gives Honor to the memory of those we lost.
From the entire Murray Group Family and Staff.
written by ryan hanley
P.S. If you’d like to share your memory below it would be powerful and appreciated.