Through the lens of a six-year-old
Our children need to know our stories. They need to see the videos of America on 9/12, black, white, brown, yellow, all united under one flag, no neighbor against neighbor. They need to see that America comes together in a crisis, that even politics can be set aside in a time of mourning.
They need to know why 9/11 happened, who did it, and what we did to protect our freedoms and show the world we are not to be messed with. Do not let the memory of those we lost that day, all we learned from each other as we picked up our broken pieces, fade into the darkness of division.
For many 9/11 didn't affect them personally, and they've already forgotten.
But my young memories will always stay with me.
I'll never forget sitting in the cafeteria at lunch as the doors swung open and parents came running in to grab their children. I asked my friend's mom what was going on and she told me to ask my mom when I got home.
I'll never forget running into my house after all our schools were sent home for the day because we were only an hour away from Washington D.C. and the school districts were afraid of more attacks. We were loaded onto our school buses for those whose parents couldn’t pick them up from school, rumors circling around that Santa Claus was at the mall and that’s why we got to go home early. Our bus driver personally called each parent before having us get off of the bus to make sure someone was home for us.
I'll never forget as I walked into our kitchen, asking my mother what was wrong, and having her point to our small television while she was on the phone, only to see the twin towers up in flames.
I'll never forget the fear my family had for my Dad because he was working for American Airlines in Baltimore and wasn't able to contact us since the airport was on lockdown.
And I'll never forget the fact that one of my uncles had to literally drag himself out of the Pentagon on his hands and knees after being in the building when it was hit by one of the hijacked planes, his life spared by the last minute decision to finish an email before heading to a meeting in a room that was hit by the plane.
9/11/2001. May we never forget.