On That Day…

September 11, 2001. History was placed on our shoulders exactly ten years ago today (I was only 10 years old at the time, but definitely old enough to know and understand what had happened). We always read in textbooks about historical events such as Pearl Harbor, the Holocaust, etc. (just to name a couple examples), but who would’ve thought that we would’ve actually experienced, first-hand, our own historical event that is now found in textbooks everywhere? September 11th (just like I know my parents remember where they were when JFK was assassinated) is one of the those days in history that you will always remember where you were, what you were doing, who you were with.

On that day, I was in my fifth grade science class, taught by Ms. Heffron, at Donna Klein Jewish Academy.

On that day, in school, when I asked what was going on after seeing the horror on the faces of the entire faculty, I was told that there was a flood (instead of being told the truth).

On that day, I was picked up early from school by a sobbing, frantic mother.

On that day, I remember watching the planes crash into the World Trade Center on TV.

On that day, I remember how my dad was supposed to get on a plane to New York for a business trip.

A few years later, the summer before my senior year of high school, I went on a B’nai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO) trip to New York and saw Ground Zero for the first time. A large hole in the ground with metal fences surrounding. Enormous football-stadium-looking construction lights. A copper memorial wall with flowers surrounding to commemorate all of the firefighters who risked their own lives and saved tons of lives that day. These are the sights I saw. Since I was on Jewish group trip, I remember the whole group standing silently in a circle and then reciting a prayer. From that moment on, we were more unified as a group than ever. The hardship, horridness of the September 11th attacks brought us together as one. In times of need, we learn to come together, to support each other. If there’s one lesson that can be learned from September 11th, it is that—learning to stick together through good and bad times. Becoming one. Becoming united.

A member of the Boston College lacrosse team years ago, Welles R. Crowther, after finishing college, had gone on to work in the Twin Towers. He had a sentimental red bandana that his dad had given to him when he was a little boy. On September 11, 2001, he became a hero, helping people escape the building and then going back up to the top to save more lives. Unfortunately, he did not survive that day. So, to honor this hero, my school announced that everyone should wear a red bandana to our football game last night against Boston College. There was a tribute to him and 9/11 during halftime and the whole stadium was in tears, waving their red bandanas in the air, proud to show off their spirit and commemoration for this beloved man. I have been a part of many September 11th memorial services (including performing a song that my aunt wrote), and every single one of them have helped shape who I am today and made me realize how important it is to count my blessings every single day.