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From the Editor: Remembering 9/11

By Samantha VanSchoick
On September 13, 2012

 

I was only 10 years old on Sept. 11, 2001; but the events of that day remain to be one of the clearest memories I have of my childhood.

Four weeks before, my cousin Cathy and I were playing on the sidewalk in my hometown, Albany, NY. My mother had just purchased me a full size baby carriage from a tag sale, but being the tom-boy that I was, I didn't see much use for it...other than as a large skateboard. After a lot of begging, my cautious cousin agreed to push me down the hilly sidewalk while I stood in the carriage.

Of course, if you've ever walked on a sidewalk, you know they are not exactly even surfaces. The result was my face crashing into the pavement, several trips to the dentist, two fake front teeth, and a cast on my right wrist. I was looking forward to the September morning my cast was to be removed.

Happy to be able to move my wrist again, I hopped up into my Father's truck. He switched on the radio, which was permanently set to the "talk station" (to my 90's pop dismay...Britney Spears!). The host's voice was shaking as he told the world that a small plane had just hit one of the World Trade Center towers.

My father, an Albany firefighter, was immediately grim. He dropped me off at school, only a few blocks from where my cast was removed.

No one knew what was going on, only that our teachers were acting funny. I found out later that my teacher, Mr. Baker, brother worked in one of the towers. Thankfully, he made it out alive. The school administration made the decision to not inform us of what had happened because of our proximity to the city.

Going home that day was rough. I found both my parents on the couch crying. I had never seen my father cry before that day.

343. That's a number that will be in my heart forever. The number of firefighters and paramedics that gave their life trying to save others.

23. The number of NYPD killed.

37. Number of port authority police officers killed.

2,753. Total number of people killed in the attacks in New York.

2,108. Number of U.S. troops killed in Operation Enduring Freedom.  

September 11is a day of mourning and remembrance. A day to come together and be thankful for the men and women who do the dirty jobs. The firefighters, nurses, police officers, service members, and the families who support them. Because without them, where would we be?

We all remember where we were that day, but now, 11 years later we need to recall who keeps our towns, cities, and country safe.

Until next time,  Sam


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