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Monday, September 12, 2011

We Will Never Forget: 10 Years Later

Over the past ten years, I have struggled with each September 11th. Each has been such a mixture of emotion. Sadness and joy. Sorrow and gratitude. Frustration and grieving. Devastation and forgiveness.

Each year, I remember the panic and horror, the phone calls and the incessant drone of the school intercom. I remember the nervousness as each student, one by one was pulled out of school. Everyone but me.

Each year I recall where I was (in 1st period choir my freshman year of high school) and the stories that floated around the high school. "The Pentagon's been hit." "The Capitol was bombed." "The White House is gone."

Each year, the images of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are etched into my memory, again.

Each year the wounds are fresh. Yet, each year, new healing takes place.

More patriotism. More love. More peace.

This year it was particularly peaceful. I woke up to a beautiful fall morning in St. George and received a text from Ryan that said, "Motab's 9/11 tribute has been AMAZING." I frantically tried to connect via my iPhone, but missed the broadcast. However, amidst the disappointment, I heard incredible stories of real families and their experiences that day.

In the past, I have had a hard time because from me the experience was real. Close to home and frightening. And, at times, I've even been dogmatic because I could never understand how people outside of Washington and New York really understand.

Yesterday it clicked. After driving from St. George to Utah, I came home to find a sleeping baby and a humbled husband. He had been on his mission during the events of September 11th and had never watched clip after clip, picture after picture. Yesterday I listened as he retold the things he had seen and heard, I watched as his reactions mirrored those of my own father on that day, and I realized that he really understood. It was then that it hit me that whether you saw it in person, watched it on TV, lived 5 or even 500 miles away, you experienced it, and together, as a country, we have healed.

This year, I was excited to see the new September 11th Memorial on the news and to learn of the new 1 World Trade Center Building. It will stand 1,776 ft tall and serve as a beautiful reminder of coming together to face opposition as well as a constant symbolic reminder of overcoming adversity then and now.

September 11, 2001

We will never forget. God bless America.


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