It’s something I rarely talk about.
September 11th, 2001.
Everyone has their story.
There are only a few events in history that create collective experiences.
November 22, 1963 – JFK assassinated
July 16, 1969 – humanity lands on the moon
January 28, 1986 – Challenger disaster
I was in kindergarten for that one.
But, the other one… My experience was different than most. September 11th, 2001 was day five of Army Basic Training for me.
I have never seen it.
Really. And I won’t watch the footage.
The next morning, I was at the troop clinic, and I saw the aftermath. I was one of the first to see anything. Every day after that one was weighted with the profound reality of the situation. Every single thing we were learning mattered in a way that nothing else ever had.
I would love to share the depths and breadths of my experience, to have that communal catharsis, but I can’t. My experience of that event is so fundamentally different, it’s just… I feel so alone.
And it’s kind of okay. Really, I am okay. I cherish the people who can relate, and I neither envy nor begrudge anyone else’s experience. Mine is no greater or smaller than anyone’s.
This day holds a special significance in my life, as it does for everyone.
Take a moment. Be a force for good.