Has it really been ten years since the twin towers tumbled to the earth?
I remember that awful day so vividly.
My grandpa had passed away three day prior so I was almost seven hundred miles from home at my grandma's house.
I was sitting at my grandma's kitchen table eating breakfast with a few of my younger cousins, when my brother came upstairs from getting ready to go to class and said "turn on the tv."
He didn't sound overly anxious or alarmed so I didn't pay it much attention.
I immediately heard gasps from those who were in the living room when the tv was turned on, so I left my cereal and ran to see what could possibly be wrong.
And that is when I saw it: two buildings that I couldn't name if my life depended on it, one with a huge hole near the top with smoke streaming out of it.
I sat down on the floor in front of the tv with most of my family around me and watched on live tv as another plane crashed into the second tower.
My heart dropped.
All day long, I sat there and stared.
I listened to the devastating reports of another plane hitting the pentagon.
And then when I thought nothing else could possibly go wrong over there, I watched as one building crumbled to the earth, and then the other.
I felt like I couldn't breathe deeply enough. Goosebumps peppered my arms. And even though my body knew this day would change the world for good, my fifteen year old brain couldn't quite comprehend the magnitude of it all.
While the rest of my family eventually got up and went about their days, I sat there, watching every scene play over and over and reading every word that scrolled across the screen, waiting for more information, waiting for more attacks.
And now, ten years later, I know those terrorists failed. They succeeded in killing thousands of people, destroying many buildings, and starting a war. But in the long run, America is stronger, we are more unified, and have a greater respect each other.
And in the past ten years I feel that we have come closer to winning the war against terrorism.
For today, and probably the next few days, I will sit and watch all the documentaries and shows about September 11, 2001 and gain a greater understanding and appreciation and respect for the events that took place that day. I will cry. I will flinch. I will get angry.
But in the end, I will just feel grateful for what I have and that I live in this country where "land of the free and home of the brave" have a new meaning.