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Sunday, September 11, 2011

I remember.

The above photo was taken in Chelsea on the north side of the street on 22nd between 7th & 8th Avenues. 

When I first heard of the 9/11 attacks I was sitting in my 10th grade Algebra class at Belleview High School seated by friends. I was 15. My teacher received a phone call from a family member and immediately turned on the television to witness the horror of the attacks. We didn't understand the gravity of the situation at all. I didn't. We were just glad to stop learning math and get a chance to socialize. The school didn't allow our parents to pick us up early for fear of an enormous panic, I suppose. Living in Florida, following that day life went on as relatively normal but we learned more and more of the significance of the attacks and the devastating aftermath. The most poignant visual for me was watching footage of people jumping to their deaths out of impressively high windows to avoid burning alive or being crushed by the waning metal structure.

Since then, I lived, worked, and went to school in New York City from 2008 to 2010. I had always dreamed of living in The City but never thought I'd be so fortunate to see it happen. I'm proud of my time there. New York City grew me in those two years and lent me so many of its wonderful features. I am not the same person now, I am better. I went there to blossom and I did. I met some lifelong friends in The City and felt it's warmth. There's nowhere like New York City. You can be who you are there. There's always someone weirder or more eccentric than you so no need to worry. I learned to express myself again there. I recovered from heartbreak there. I learned how much my family meant to me. I evolved. I lived my dreams. It will effect my whole life.

I'm not a New Yorker by any means but I do love and miss NYC. Not a day went by in my two years there that I didn't see reverence and remembrance for the tragedy of 9/11. Today and everyday I am so proud of my country, proud to be a citizen of The United States of America and enormously grateful for the brave people who have kept and continue to keep us safe and defend us on our land and abroad.

In all seriousness, God Bless America. Be proud and thankful.

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