People remember where they were when man first stepped on the moon, they remember where they were when they heard JFK was assassinated, and people will undoubtedly remember where they were when they heard about the terrorism that occurred on September 11, 2001.
For in one way or another everyone in America, Muslim or not, was undoubtedly impacted by the massive explosions that demolished the Twin Towers, tore through the pentagon, left thousands dead, and millions mourning and searching for answers. Answers that may not come, and ones that will never satisfy the knowledge we each hold, that it could have been us. And unfortunately it was people we knew.
As images flash us from every newspaper and television set, the stories that unravel before us become increasingly sensationalized and more concerned with placing blame rather than remembering the individuals.
The images that flash in our minds, however, at least for me, are frighteningly real. The scenes of fear, desperation, tears and empathy, that my heart feels knowing that terrorism spares no one, I know will haunt me for quite some time.
I shuddter to even think of what it would have been like to be one of the ill-fated flights. To not only have endured the horrendous act of surviving a hijacking, but then to know your life is going to be used as a weapon against others.
It tears me apart to imagine sitting down at my desk to work, on what appears to be a typical Tuesday morning, only to find out, perhaps too late, that there is nothing typical about the day.
The images of people jumping to their death, continually boggle my mind. I cannot even claim to imagine the desperation that must have compelled individuals to commit such a devastating act.
And the thought of the masses of people crowding into stairwells at the World Trade Center, trying to evacuate the buildings, shortens my breath and speeds up my heart. Knowing that they did not survive, knowing that there were those in wheelchairs waiting with no way out, knowing that the flames and falling debris trapped people and kept rescue workers from arriving in time, reminds me that these were innocent people, with lives and families and futures when their time came.
It reminds me that it could have been my time. I have been in an airplane, I've been in an office building, I've walked down a street and I will do so again, yet perhaps never with the same ease and confidence.
Because on a day that I will never forget, I joined with my neighbors to begin a process of mourning for those that experienced, and continue to endure the terror that I cannot even begin to truly imagine.
Photo Attribution: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:September_11th_terrorist_attack_on_the_World_Trade_Center_LCCN2002717279_LC-A05-B32.tif