I truly cannot believe it has been eighteen years since that fateful day. Since that dreadful day when thousands of lives (two thousand, nine hundred and eighty-three to be exact) were lost. Over hate. Over envy. Over ignorance. Over racism. And since then, we have evolved into a nation that no longer “depends” on the hatred of enemies out there, but sadly has given ourselves permission to unleash unthinkable terror onto each other. Apparently we were so affected and appalled that on that fateful day eighteen years ago that strangers – people who did not look like us and who claimed to believe in a God that sanctioned their actions – dared to infiltrate our peace and devastate our lives, that we opted to instead raise, cultivate and motivate terrorists with more familiar faces. And, we put their leader in the White House.
I remember where I was eighteen years ago. When our lives changed. I remember the fear I felt. I remember the grief I felt and the sadness I still do. I remember those I knew, lost and miss. I remember how my soul changed forever. Because there is no way one can live through the loss of so many others and not change. Fear hides in the recesses of my skin and each time, every time I walk through Penn or Grand Central stations I wonder, okay, I worry if a foreign or familiar asshole will be deciding at that precise moment that I must die. But, I walk on. Holding my fear close. Looking brave.
We will never forget. Of that I am certain. Whether what we remember are the lives lost or our lingering fear, or both, matters little. We will never forget. Them. Or the us we used to be…
September 11th, 2001 – September 11th, 2019.