It has been 10 years now since 9.11.01 and I still remember it vividly. I remember what I was wearing, as if I could look in the mirror and see my 15 year old self on that morning, without a care in the word besides if I looked pretty during those first few days of my sophomore year of high school. I remember that I was in Russian class, when my teacher received a call that sent her frantically out of the classroom, and I remember knowing something was wrong when my history teacher came in to tell us the news.
Once we knew that we had been attacked, literally WE - New Yorkers - just miles away from where we were going about our daily lives, the world changed. I was lucky that neither of my parents worked in Manhattan, I didn't have to spend all day worrying whether they were safe, as many of my classmates and teachers did. The next day, schools were closed, and my friends and I gathered to talk and to try to give each other a sense of comfort. I also remember what I wore on that next day- completely by coincidence, I was dressed in patriotic red, white, and blue.
Now, as a 25 year old, I travel into Manhattan 5 days a week for work. My subway line has a station that was re-opened just days ago, closed for the past 10 years as a result of damage sustained. It is a constant reminder to me of what happened. The day after Osama was found and killed, there was extra security -equipped with extra big guns- on all public transportation, but I don't live in fear.
I would be lying if I said that I don't think about it almost every day, that I don't think about the people I knew who were lost and sometimes get teary eyed over all of the people who were just doing their jobs that day... much like I do mine. I think often about the people of all ages whose lives were cut short - parents who would never see their children grow up, twenty somethings like me who were eager to start families of their own. But it would be crazy to live my life worrying about all the things that could happen; it would be wrong to stop living my life whenever there is a threat. I am part of a city that has come together and flourished despite the tragedy we faced.
At this point, it's hard to remember living in a world before 9.11, back when we were invincible. Maybe that's for the best; maybe now Americans are more aware of those who are not on our side, maybe that will help to keep us safe.
Whatever the future holds, I will hold in my memory the events of 9.11.01, aware that my world could change in an instant... the way it changed 10 years ago today.