We all have our 9/11 stories. This is mine. 
Thirteen years ago I went to school in Brooklyn, New York. By all accounts, it started as a normal day. And then it became a nightmare. Thirteen years ago, I went to school and my then-NYPD Detective dad rushed to what is now known as Ground Zero. Because public servants and heroes rush to the chaos, the danger, where they're needed. They don't run from it.
Thankfully, my dad came home to us. He came home late at night in the days following, leaving his volunteer hard hat in the trunk of our car. He never really spoke about what exactly he saw or how it made him feel. 
In December of that year, my family visited Ground Zero. There were still ashes everywhere. And Missing Person posters, hundreds. I will never forget how I felt in that moment knowing that so many loved ones would never get a chance to be with theirs again. Because of hatred and evil, because of terrorism.   
That day all of the students were picked up by parents early. I'll always remember the ashed papers floating in the air as I walked home with my mom, my brother, and my cousin. Since that day I have grown a newfound appreciation for life and patriotism. And the beautiful democracy of a country we live in. I am thankful for those public servants who continue to keep us safe. I keep the victims in my prayers. 
And I will always love my city and my country, these United States of America. 


  1. Goodness it was such a nightmare of a day for NYers. As sad as it is, I like reading stories about where we all were that day bc it kinda unites us.