On September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked by terrorists for suicide attacks. Two of the planes hit the World Trade Center towers, one attacked the Pentagon, and one that was aimed for Washington, D.C. crashed into a field. Including those in the planes, nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the attacks. It is the largest terrorist attack against the United States.
I lived through this tragic event in American history and witnessed the attack through my television. As a 5-year-old, I had trouble connecting to the images I saw on screen. I knew something terrible had occurred, but I was too young to comprehend the magnitude of the situation. What I really connected to was the shared sorrow of America, and the world, following the attack. Everything and everyone seemed a little darker around that time.
I am older now, and each year I am able to better understand the gravity of the events as well as the collective grief of my country, even though my own memories are fading more and more.
I will never fully understand the profound sadness of those who lost loved ones in the attacks, but each year I gain more understanding and empathy. I still cannot wrap my mind around the devastation that those four planes caused, but I keep trying.
Because there is more to the story than what a 5-year-old girl can comprehend. Because this is not just a news story but a truth that Americans have to live with everyday. Because we are living witnesses to a history that we cannot repeat. Because we are living witnesses to a history that we cannot forget.