I remember A.P. U.S. History joining A.P. U.S. Government in their classroom to huddle around a television to watch U.S. history unfolding. We watched the South Tower collapse and left the classroom, later learning the North Tower fell moments later. I remember the federal agents on campus at my private school securing a Bush family member within minutes of the second tower falling. I remember the images of the day. In fact, I cannot forget. 9/11 significantly shaped my views of America for better or worse. I’m very proud to be an American, but I realize our nation is imperfect.
Every year, I “remember” in a different way. It still feels raw, so I immerse myself in the story. I recently watched 102 minutes through tears. I am always struck by some new detail or some development. A few years ago, I made it to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum…and let me tell you, it was one of the most intense things I have ever done. In one exhibit, you walk through the day, and it’s heartbreaking and powerful at the same time.
In another exhibit, the faces of almost every victim are memorialized. You sit in a theater and listen to their stories as their photo is highlighted. Two victims, Albert Ogletree and Antonio Dorsey Pratt, did not have a photo as of 2021. The museum worked hard recently to fix that for Mr. Ogletree. Finally, this past June, Mr. Pratt’s photo was the last photo placed.
As time goes on, it gets harder and harder to articulate what happened that day fully. How it changed everything and everyone. My son is still too young to know or even understand 9/11, but I know we will travel to the museum together one day, so even when I am gone, we never forget.