This morning I had my normal, scheduled post, but as I was about to hit publish, it just didn’t feel right.

It’s so hard to believe that it’s been 12 years since Sept. 11 became something other than a beautiful fall day. As a 7th grader, I remember sitting in lunch and hearing peers talk about watching planes crash in their history class. Being so close to DC, we were let out of school early that day and I truly could not grasp the meaning behind it all.

I remember my mother being afraid, all of the planes being stopped, schools being shut down and VA being in a state of panic that I just didn’t understand. I didn’t understand the depth or breadth of the planes crashing into the towers, and I certainly didn’t understand the complexity of a terrorist attack.

Every year, I think it sinks a little deeper– the pain and grief of it all. Beyond the political turn of events it caused, the families who lost loved ones in a blink of an eye on a beautiful day continues to make my heart hurt. With a father who served countless years as a fire fighter and a brother who currently serves as a fire fighter, it makes my stomach sick to think of those men and women who rushed to help and save without turning back or coming back. The fearlessness and bravery is truly astounding.

Though every year there seems to be fewer memorial services and headlines, our world as we know it has been forever changed and it’s a day we’ll never forget. My heart truly goes out to the families and heroes. This beautiful life can be fleeting, so hug those you love today!

Where were you on this day?

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