My mom woke me up.
"Someone has flown a plane into the World Trade Center."
Even typing those words is a haunting thing. My initial reaction was, "Oh, someone is in trouble!"
Those were the first words out of my mouth. I don't know why. I was immediately thinking of the justice that needed to be done maybe. I don't know. I just knew it was something big.
I came to my living room, and all else that was in my mind went away. Images of people hurt, crying, scared and covered in ash made every other thought fly away.
Then I saw the towers. Smoking. It was surreal.
Then one fell tower. I was numb. You can't really absorb a thing like that. You can't really take it all in at a moment like that.
Then the other fell.
All day, I remember my thoughts being engrossed with information and images. Over and over, I saw the plane fly into the second tower. All day I watched them fall. All day I thought about the people and the buildings. Tower One. Tower Two. The Pentagon. The Field. With each new revelation of the events of the day, the weight in my mind was heavier and heavier.
Planes were grounded. America stopped. All eyes were fixed on New York and Washington and Pennsylvania.
The day was stunning.
I remember driving down Cordon Road and listening to my president give the biggest speech of his life. For a man who was often teased for stammering or mispronouncing words, he was flawless. He was resolute. That day he was the leader that the people of the United States needed him to be. He was, in every sense of the word, name and role, the President.
My country hasn't been the same since. My people haven't been the same since.
God bless America, land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
through the night with the Light from above.