UNITED STATES—Where were you on September 11, 2001? It was a day that will always live in infamy for any American who was born and old enough to remember where we were attacked on our own soil. The World Trade Centers in New York City were under attack, and collapsed after members of Al Queda hijacked two airplanes and crashed the planes into the building.

It was a devastating and I mean devastating thing to witness on the television screen. More than 3,000 Americans lost their lives that day, courage was bigger than ever for paramedics, firefighters and police officers who fought tirelessly to save lives. It was the one time in my life I recall EVERYONE in this country reunited.

Your race, your age, where you lived, your political affiliation, your religion, NONE OF THAT MATTERED! The only thing that mattered was the fact that we were all Americans, we were under attack and we united as a country to show terrorists we would not fall under their attack. The feeling of unity was something I have never felt again since that day. Fear was instilled in a lot of people because we didn’t know what was transpiring. It was like for the first time in a long time, the world, the Earth stood still.

I remember that fateful day like it was yesterday. I was a senior in high school, in my Pre-calculus class. There were only about 10 of us in the class, we were joking around when the teacher, came from the hallway and told us to be quiet and turned on the TV. We had a TV in the classroom, but that TV was never turned on as long as I can remember. So I sensed something was up. We heard news reports about an attack at the WTC, and then we saw one of the towers smoking. Out of nowhere a plane crashed into the second building. I couldn’t believe my eyes; some of us thought it was a joke. No joke people and attack was underway.

We soon learned about another plane that crashed near the Pentagon and the next thing you know the PA system erupted and all students were urged to IMMEDIATELY go home. People were panicked. We had no idea what the hell was going on. Was our city about to be attacked with airplanes, no one knew what was going on. Rushed home, turned on the TV and it was literally on every single news channel. America was under attack. That news coverage was nonstop for nearly 2 weeks straight; I remember because there was nothing to watch on TV and even if there was, you were so glued to trying to figure out what unfolded on American soil you didn’t care about anything else.

September 11 or 9/11 as some people call it for short is a reminder of just how precious life is and the thing that scares me the most is how we sort of have returned to normalcy without so much giving that fateful day a second look. Some people forget what happened that day; some people unfortunately don’t care what happened that day because perhaps they weren’t directly impacted by losing a loved one in those attacks.

As Americans we cannot forget what transpired that day, we cannot ignore what transpired and above anything else we have to remember all the people we lost, those courageous people who risked their own lives to save others, and did it fearlessly without a second thought. We have to pay tribute to those people, we have to honor them. We shouldn’t just go on with our lives as if it never happened, it happened and that is something NONE OF US SHOULD EVER FORGET or IGNORE!

So on Saturday, September 11, 2021, reflect back to where you were on that day, what you were doing, and think about the people who lost their lives and how we as a country united to fight back against terrorism and proved our patriotism by holding our flags proudly. Understand any of us could have been one of the 3,000 lives lost, we need to appreciate life, but at the same time be thankful to all the servicemen and servicewomen who risk their lives daily so we can continue to enjoy the freedoms so many of us take for granted.