Do you remember where you were 18 years ago? I remember…I remember exactly where I was when this occurred. As I was leaving one of my college engineering classes, my good friend, Christy- who was about to enter the same course with the same professor, just at a different time- asked me “did you hear about what happened? Two plans flew into the World Trade Center!” By this time, everyone had heard the news. I was stunned but it still didn’t register with me the profound impact this attack would have for years to come. The remaining classes I had that day were canceled as people were scrambling to understand what was going on, feared another attack would ensue, and if, indeed, a family member or friend working in or near the Center had been affected. I took to my dorm room and became transfixed to the news coverage for two straight weeks. I had never watched more news in my entire life. I couldn’t get enough. That’s all my mind was willing to consume. The sheer and utter devastation to New York and the many lives this major incident took had more than overwhelmed me. As the days and weeks passed, many of my friends, me included, were settling back in our normal routines, but were still numb. I, however, both needed and wanted to keep abreast of what was happening and what we, as Americans, were going to do about it. I remember hearing on the radio Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA” and Whitney Houston’s version of the Star Spangled Banner, constantly. These tunes gave me hope. They, in effect, helped restore my faith that everything was going to be okay. That was 18 year ago. Today, I am reminded of this hardship and how it has shaped my life. I am reminded of the sacrifice our men and women made to protect us from such a tragedy happening again. As we look back on this day, let us remember not the bad, but how Americans of all races, colors, and creeds, came together- like family. Let us remember the fallen and those who put their lives on the line to save others. Let us pray that if, in another time of crisis, we see each other as family and do whatever it takes to protect each other. To all the lives lost, to the injured, and to the survivors of 9/11, we will NEVER forget you. YOU are loved!