Sep 11, 2011

I still love you, New York

I was hesitant to blog about today, because I don't feel like anything I can say will be adequate enough for the emotions I'm feeling, or will do justice to any lives lost. 

But, just like everyone else, I have a story and I remember exactly what I was doing this day, ten years ago.

Wow. Ten years already? It's hard to believe I was only 14 when it all happened.

It was a Tuesday. I was being driven to school by my mom when we heard on the radio that a plane had crashed into the north tower of World Trade Center. We were making the curve around Lakeway Drive, before approaching the bridge over the highway, on our way to the 9th grade center.

I am a lot like my mother in that we have found grand friendships through the internet. And we didn't just communicate with these people we met online, but we actually met them. To this day, the friendships she made with the users on the forum are still some of our dearest friends, people who not only helped me celebrate my 16th birthday, but were there for me during my big MTV interview and ventured south to watch me graduate from college.

I remember going around that curve and my mom frantically calling JP, Ally & Hope, hoping they would answer. I can't remember if they did; I'm pretty sure the phone lines were all down at that point. 

Going into school, I was obviously shaken up. I was there early for Newspaper, and a friend, Valentina, saw me in the hallway and asked me what was wrong. I remember not really understanding what happened, but told her that a plane hit the World Trade Center and that I was worried about our friends.

I don't even remember the rest of the day. But I do remember going back to our new home and watching for hours on end all of the news coverage. MTV has stopped standard programming and was even playing all of the important coverage. The song that I most remember from that time was Five for Fighting's "Superman," along with "What's Going On," a tribute to AIDS awareness from various stars that was released in October.... however I will always associate it with September 11th. Also, Ryan Adam's "New York, New York," a song about the fabulous city, was chilling in that it was shot on September 7th, 2011, with full view of both twin towers in the background.

My uncle was supposed to pitch that night at Yankee Stadium, and he and my aunt were in their apartment and saw the first tower fall. Luckily, they got a cab and drove as far away as they could. 

I am thankful for everyone's safety that day. 

Remember the telethon that George Clooney put together? It was the first time I heard the song "Hero," a song that became an anthem for survivors, service men and women, first responders, and victims.  

I also remember the stories vividly. Todd Beamer, the brave passenger on hijacked Flight 93 that vowed to take on the hijackers with other passengers -- his last audible words? "Are you guys ready? Let's roll." I remember watching that second plane crash into the south tower, and how the CNN commentator was wondering if there were "mechanical" issues that would cause two planes to fly that low and crash into the buildings. Nobody initially thought this was a terror attack against our country. has all the footage from that day. It's absolutely terrifying and heartbreaking. They also have some touching and devastating video from a widow, a police chief and survivors from the WTC, entitled "September 11th: Portraits of Resilience." Please pray for these strong human beings. I can't imagine the pain they went through and are still going through. 

We can't change the past, or forget what happened, but we can continue to seek peace for the future. I think this incident in history has helped to shape our country and bring us closer together. So next time we start speaking negative of another political party or aren't happy with what we have, remember what was lost, and what was gained, from September 11th, 2001.

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