Twelve years.

Twelve years is a long time. My sister was two years old in 2001 and  now she’s fourteen and worrying about things like makeup and high school. I was in fourth grade in 2001. Now, I’m finishing my final semester in college and preparing to enter the workforce with a fancy new degree. What I’m saying is that time flies.

Twelve years.

Today, twelve years ago, I remember sitting in a dark classroom, huddled around one of those mobile media stations with the crappy televisions. I didn’t even cry until I got home. I guess I was too confused and no one was explaining the news to me. I was only nine years old.

When I got home, my parents hugged me tight. It was like they were afraid that if they let me go, I’d fly off somewhere. That’s when I cried. I knew then that something had changed. Something in the world had become vastly different than it was the day before. Suddenly, you could see the battlefield right outside your door. Everything became so immediate.

I think most people cried that day. Twelve years later, I don’t think we cry as much. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still break our hearts. We’ve made a point not to forget about it. And I think that’s good. A lot of heroes were made that day. A lot of friends were lost. And we keep them in our hearts.

We have a lot to be grateful for. We have a lot of people to thank. We won’t forget about the ones we lost.

In twelve years, this world has made a lot of progress. We’ve had our ups and downs, but I think we’re getting better. We’ve learned to love more. In the end, I think that’s the most important thing. It’s important to love and to have no reservations about it.

So, what did you learn twelve years ago? And what will you carry with you twelve years from now?

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