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9/11 Memorial at WTC

Photo by: Joe Woolhead, www.911memorial.org

Tomorrow will be fourteen years since the 9/11 events took place in New York city. A date probably recognized world wide, 9/ 11 or September 11 refers to the tragic fall of the World Trade Center back in 2001 and the beginning of  change for many.

I was only about 10 years old when it happened but I remember that day and the days that followed very well. I first heard about the first plane on my way to school. My mom was listening to the radio stations talking about a plane crashing one of the towers as she dropped off my older brother and I that morning. When the second plane hit the second tower, everyone knew this was no longer an accident. We spend the whole day watching the news, not really understand what was going on or what the grown ups were talking about. I didn't even know what the World Trade Center was before this day and up until now, events like these only happened in history books. I remember seeing some of my teachers crying and comforting each other. I remember being a bit scared and confused, and I remember the horrible images shown on television all week long.  Living in a border town highly connected to Mexico, the border security got really strict after that and everything seemed like it was changing. Everyone was scared. I guess its hard for a child of that age to truly understand why things like this happen. My parents and teachers did the best they could to explain what was going on, but all I kept understanding was that we were going to war.

It wasn't all bad news though. In the days that follow, many sad but heroic tales about various individuals who helped others surfaced. Like the people from that plane that couldn't crash into the White House cause the passengers didn't allow it, and those gave everyone a piece of courage, pride and unity. American flags covered the whole nation in support and honor of those who experienced the tragic events in person and you could truly feel this feeling of brotherhood or hermandad, as we would call it in Spanish., all around us. As everyone was going through a hard time, everyone also found support among each other.

Now, fourteen years since then, the tragic events and the emotions felt during those days are not forgotten. Each year a series of events to commemorate those who lost their lives are held at the location where the Twin Towers, as they were commonly known , stood, which has been turned into a memorial. With live webcast, the ceremony starts early morning  each year on September 11 followed by a Tribute in Light later on that day. There is also a museum open to the public to visit all year round and guided tours for tourists as well. www.911memoria.org is a webpage dedicated to the September 11 attacks where one can learn more about it, comment, blog, become a member, and remember that day.

September 11 will always be a day that will survive in our minds for as long as we live. It was a tragic day which brought a whole nation together in the middle of so much sorrow. And as the years go by, a day dedicated to those who were affected by the attacks and where we take time to honor them. It is a day I will never forget and that I will probably be telling my children about years from now, just like we hear stories about Pearl harbor or other long ago events. Like those only found in history books.

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