It's been 16 years to the day since the world changed forever. The country erupted into chaos and panic amidst the cries of 3,000 people whose voices were forever silenced. They were parents, siblings, spouses of every race, of every religion, and they were buried under hell fire and rubble. For most people my age, it's a vague memory that most don't remember.
My parents have always joked that I can remember the finite details from something that happened when I was a toddler, yet I forget what I had for breakfast that same day. Unfortunately, this is something that I will never forget.
It started a few days before, I was sitting on my parent's bed, watching my dad pack. This wasn't anything new for me, my dad was always going on business trips. He worked in the stock market, so he was always traveling to New York for business meetings. He was always telling me about the big buildings he would go to. He told me how they were so tall, you could see Canada if the weather was just right. I always wondered how people could make a building so tall and magnificent. He was going to those big buildings again, same as he always did.
The morning of September 11th, 2001, started like any other day did. My sister and I were watching our cartoons, laughing at the flashing colors on the screen. My grandmother loved watching them with us, she became a little kid again when she was around us. The phone rang, and we didn't pay it any mind as she went to go answer it. Suddenly, Yiayia came in the room, panicked and frightened. She snatched the remote from my sister and turned the channel to Fox News, and that's when we saw it.
Fire. Just fire and smoke blacker than night. Those big buildings that my dad had just told me about a few days before were on fire. The smoke filled the atmosphere with chaos and terror as the world began to learn what was unfolding. Not long after that, my mom came in and moved my sister and I out of the room. We weren't able to see what was going on, but we could hear it all. We heard the screams coming from the other side of the wall as one tower fell, and then other. We heard the panic in my mother's voice as she tried again and again to call my father.
My father was in Chicago, at the top of another building, in a morning full of meetings. His bosses called him only a couple days before to let him know that he didn't have to come out to New York that week, and he stayed home. I've always wondered why he got that phone call, why him? Some call it divine intervention, some call it dumb luck, I just call it a miracle. Because of that stroke of luck, I grew up with a father that made me the man I am today. Dad, if you're reading this, I love you.
In the hours and days that followed, I saw the sons of our nation get called to fight this evil, the evil that robbed so many of their lives. I think about it sometimes; how much potential was lost that day. The worlds next great poet, a future doctor, or even a future president. So much potential for greatness and change wiped out in an instant. But what I think about the most is the silence. The silence of the tears rolling down my fathers face when he came home that day. The silence of his friends and coworkers who were at that meeting, trapped in their own casket. But I'll never forget the silence in the sky. My dad took my sister and I to the park the next day, and there was nothing but silence.No great airplanes roaring through the sky, just silence.
I'm telling you all this now, not because I want views or sympathy's, but because too many people have forgotten. When I scroll down my Twitter feed this time of year, I'm baffled and angered by a number of people that take this as a joke. Crying in laughter emoji's overtake the crying of grief from those who lost loved ones. And I understand that other people my age or younger don't remember it or weren't even alive for it. But that is why WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT.