As you all know, today is the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. It is a day that will forever be ingrained in my brain. While I didn't realize the magnitude at the time, I still took something from that day. Continue reading to find out more...
September 11th Prompt: How do you stay inspired? Who inspires you the most?
Way back in September of 2001, I was just a teeny-tiny 8th grader. As I sat in my third period social studies classroom, I found out about the terrorist attack. I didn't understand everything at that moment, but my teacher/coach was crying as he turned the TV on and told us we were going to watch that instead of continue with our lesson. He told us that THAT VERY MOMENT would be with us forever, and that the magnitude of that day would haunt America.
That day was a blur. I remember other students not caring at all about what was going on. I remember some even LAUGHING as they saw the plane take down the second tower. I don't judge them or blame them - none of us were old enough to "get it". None of us had ever experienced anything like that before.
I remember my football game being canceled (yes, I played football on the boys' team). I was angry about that, but I knew the situation in our country was greater than one little football game of mine. I remember everything about that day - even that my family went out for Chinese that night for dinner.
As I continued to hear about the 9/11 attacks on the news and see people being interviewed, I started to really understand it. REAL PEOPLE had been killed. They had left behind mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. Friends. Teachers. Neighbors. Coaches. People lost their LIVES. And these people were not very different from the people I knew. They were working people with families - just like my parents. I couldn't imagine at that time losing a parent. I have since (and my younger brother was in 8th grade at the time - something I can't even comprehend).
But this post is supposed to be about inspiration, not about the events that unfolded on that awful day. Inspiration is a weird thing. It's a GOOD thing to have, but sometimes I feel guilty for being inspired by tragic events. 9/11 left an impact on me in a strange way. I am fascinated by it in the same way that I am by the Holocaust. I know that both events (and so many more in our history) have been heinous and uncalled for. But I also know that people learn from mistakes. Not always - and certainly not everyone. But some do. That's why I feel inspired by these horrendous events. I feel inspired to write about them, share about them, and let people know what happened. People's stories deserve to be told. No one wanted to die that day and leave everyone behind. They didn't, but they had to. And that's not fair.
I know I don't want to waste any talent that was given to me because I am fully aware that I could lose it at any time. I genuinely feel for the people who paid the ultimate price that day because they never got to be with their families again. They never got to work on another project again. They never got to see the outside again. And because of these people sacrificing what they did, I am a little stronger. I know that in this day and age, terrorism is real. There's always a possibility. But I want to live my life how I want to live it and not be scared. Rather, I try to channel those events into inspiration instead of fear.
I'm sorry if none of this made sense and just sounded like a giant ramble of thoughts coming together. It was tough to piece together, and I'm still not sure I did it justice.