Extra Holidays

What I Learned From September 11th

September 11
Written by Edith Rodriguez

I remember I was a sophomore in high school when I walked into my math class and the teacher had the news on the television.  I look up to the t.v. and see two New York towers with smoke coming out of them.  I had no idea what was going on.  In fact, I had no idea how big of a situation it was.  I just remember my teacher’s face filled with worry and saying the United States had just gotten attacked.


As the day went on, almost every teacher had the news on.  I started to understand that this was something big but at the same time I didn’t have a clear understanding of everything.  I was never a person to watch the news nor had I ever heard of United States getting attacked.  I just never imagined it could be attacked.  I didn’t stop to think that there so many people inside the tower that lost their lives.  I didn’t understand how many rescue workers were putting their life on the line.  Not until I got home that day.


I started seeing images of people throwing themselves out the top floors and people running on the streets covered in ash.  That’s when it hit me.  Tons of people were dying!  People were losing loved ones.  The United States had been attacked! I was completely saddened.


That night, I though about all the people who had no idea they would lose their loved ones.  Many saw them for the last time and suddenly they were gone.  I thought about all the people who never got to say goodbye.


I thought about all the firefighters, police, military, doctors, and volunteers who gave everything up to help those in need.  What great hearts they had and how unselfish they were to risk their lives for others.


What I learned from September 11th

Something this day taught me was that we never know what can happen to us.  Unexpected things occur that may take us away from the people we love.  It taught me that I need to show love to the people closest to me.


September 11th taught me to live my life to the fullest by enjoying every moment with the ones I love.  It taught me to be grateful for who I have.


Seeing all the people of New York help each other, taught me about unity and how to be a helping person.  It taught me to be a giving person when disasters occur.


I hope this day never gets forgotten.  That we remember the people who risked their lives and those who lost it.  May this be a reminder to appreciate every moment with our loved ones. And may this day be one that unites us as country that helps each other in times of need.


I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to visit Ground Zero three times and  9/11 Museum twice and learn more about what happened.  There I have shed tears from seeing the faces of missing people.  There I was able to stand in silence and be thankful for all those who helped.  There I saw the newly built sky scraper and was proud to know that I live in a country that does not allow itself to be defeated.


Every time I’ve gone, ground zero has changed.  First time in 2009, all I saw was construction.  Second time in 2012, I still saw construction and went to the museum.  Finally, this year in April 2014, I was able to see the Ground Zero Memorial falls, the almost completed skyscraper, and another visit to the museum.


It has taken many years to recover the area destroyed.  But it will take even more years for people who lost loved ones to recover from the pain of loss.  May we keep these people in our prayers today and always.


Let’s be thankful for every firefighter, police, doctor, nurse, and all volunteers who were selfless and chose to help.  Let’s be thankful for every person who donated blood, money, and supplies for those in need.  And let’s be thankful to God for making us a strong nation of helpful people and for the strength He gave to the brokenhearted.


Here are some pictures from my visit.  Sorry they aren’t clear.  They are pictures from a phone.



Such a beautiful way to remember the people who lost their lives.



This was in 2009 when there was just construction.


The missing people. This is when I couldn’t contain my tears.


My second visit in 2012. The skyscraper was up.





Third visit. Complete from outside.



Survivor Tree



Surviving Sphere that was inside the WTC.



About the author

Edith Rodriguez

Edith Rodriguez is a wife, teacher, adventurer, and the blogger at Unblemished. On her blog she writes lifestyle posts on living a healthy and joyful life. Her hope is to inspire and motivate you to live a life in wellness.

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