Then there are some that we don't look forward to. They hurt to remember. But we always will.
April 20, 1999 - Columbine Shooting (which took place just up the street from where I live)
April 19, 1995 - Oklahoma Bombing
April 15, 2013 - Boston Marathon Bombing
December 14, 2012 - Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting
April 16, 2007 - Virginia Tech Shooting
But there is one that affects every American.
September 11, 2001 - World Trade Center and Pentagon
This day stunned the entire world. It changed the course of history for an entire nation. 2,996 people lost their lives, including the 19 hijackers. Over $10 billion dollars worth of damage was done.
But no price can be set for the damage thousands of people who know have an empty seat at the table.
I was only 12 when the attack took place. I honestly had no idea what everyone was talking about when I got to school that morning. But it didn't take long to figure out. There were TV's placed in every classroom. And while we still had to go to our respective classrooms throughout the day, no actual class took place. We were all glued to the TV's.
I don't remember a whole lot about that day beyond that. The day after, I learned that my best friend and next-door neighbor was directly impacted. Her brother's wife's father was the pilot of the plane to hit the second tower. While a distant family member, the ripples of tragedy flowed throughout that house. It hit home. And hard.
Every year we remember the almost 3,000 Americans who lost their lives. We see the memorials, the repeat footage, we even see how some families who lost loved ones are doing 10+ years later. It's gut-wrenching. Today is one day I refuse to watch the news because I will cry. All because of one memory...
In the days after the attack, it was still being analyzed and reported on 24/7. And our local news station was still partly based out of New York City (as were most I imagine). They did a segment on how some of the families were being affected. And how one father had to tell his 3 year old son that Mommy was not going to come home.
Seeing the footage of them sitting on the steps of their front walkway, seeing that little sweet boy wait for his mom to come home, and watching those two boys cry together is the one segment that I will never forget. I'm honestly tearing up thinking about it. No little boy should lose his mother that way. No one should have lost anyone that way on that day.
So, today, we remember. We remember the people that lost their lives in the name of freedom. But, please, take time to remember that little boy. Remember how he never got to tell his mommy goodbye. Remember all the families that will never get to kiss their brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, fathers, sons, and daughters again. Because, yes, those people lost their lives, but the families lost a piece of their hearts.