September 11th. Each year as September 11th rolls around, I can’t help but think “I can’t believe it’s already been ___ years since September 11th”. In some ways I truly can’t believe that that day even happened. Really, it just seems like a terrible nightmare.

I just found this quote a few days ago, and I thought I’d share it: “Now we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend- even a friend whose name it never knew.” -President George W. Bush

And this one: “For me and my family personally, September 11 was a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent, and uncertain. Therefore, we must make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity, and laughter.” –Deepak Chopra, M.D.

Both of these quotes put into words some of my personal thoughts and feelings about that day. What’s made this day even more real to me was the fact that I had the opportunity to visit the 9/11 memorial this past April. Now, sitting and watching the footage, I recognize the area. I stood there. And I still can’t believe it happened.

As I was standing next to one of the reflecting pools trying to figure out how high up in the sky (and what floor) the planes hit, a man overheard us and gave me the answer. I began to talk to him, and he shared part of his story. He worked in the tower, but was running late to work that morning. He wasn’t in the tower, and he was safe. That day standing next to him was the first time he had been down to see the memorial or the new world trade center building that is being built. It was such an intense and emotional experience to stand there witnessing this person experience the memorial for the first time. I think about it often.

This year I have something new to add into the images and news clips from those days and weeks after September 11th- getting to walk around those pools and see the new building standing tall over the memorial.

Now it’s your turn to share! What are some of the strongest memories you have surrounding September 11, 2001?