Today: Jul 17, 2024

A lesson to live every day like it is the last


As I watched my friend’s mother sign her daughter out of school, I could only wonder what was going on.  I was sitting in my sixth grade class at Wintergreen Magnet when all of a sudden, many students started to leave class.

Little did I know, this day would never be forgotten. At the time, I did not understand why everyone was leaving and some of the teachers were in a frenzy.

              It wasn’t until I turned on the television at home that I understood what was going on.

The date was Sept. 11,2001.

            A lot could be said about this day.  Personally, I did not lose any loved ones during these attacks, nor was I in danger.

Yet, as I watched the images of the Twin Towers falling to the ground, I couldn’t help but wonder what in the world was going on.

Seeing two plans crash into skyscrapers in New York completely blew my 12-year-old mind.  At the time, I also did not understand the seriousness and complexity of the damage and aftermath of Sept. 11.

 To me, I saw this on TV and went about the rest of my day.  It wasn’t until I was

older that I truly understood and felt great sympathy for all of the lives affected by these attacks.

Year after year, I witnessed memorial services and ceremonies to remember the men and women who were killed in the attack.

When I was able to comprehend what actually happened on this day, I asked myself so many questions.  When I hear of tragic events taking place, I have the tendency to ask myself what I would do if I was in a certain situation.

A question that boggled my mind for a moment was this: If I was on the highest floor of one of the Twin Towers, and the building was collapsing, would I have jumped to my death?

I know it may seem far-fetched for some of you, but to the victims, this was their split-second reality.

Last semester, one of my journalism classes was given a writing assignment pertaining to one family’s 9/11 story. In this story, a family lost a loved one in the attack.

The family believed that no matter how high the building was, their loved one would not have fallen to his death.  This can be a very tricky question.

Honestly, who knows what any of us would have done in that predicament.  I was never in a life-threatening situation during my lifetime, but my mind cannot come to terms with the fright and terror that many of those men and women faced.

 Just imagine you are going along with your daily routine, and out of nowhere you feel the ground shake, or perhaps hear a scream. What would you have done?

Writing this reminds me of how I felt just a couple of weeks ago when Connecticut felt the impact of an earthquake.  I was at my internship, in an office.

 As I was typing a story, I felt the ground shake under my feet.  Immediately, I thought it was just my imagination, but then I looked up.

Hanging above me was a white cylinder-shaped light that swayed slowly back and forth.  At that moment I froze because it lasted for about five minutes. I began to hear other people in the office yelling and gathering some of their things to exit the building.

I’ve illustrated this to you because I know how my heart dropped into my shoes from a five-minute experience. What the victims of 9/11 had to face is unimaginable.

The events of 9/11 left so many unanswered questions for the families and loved ones of the victims.  I know most of you probably heard of the cliched saying, “Live your life to the fullest.”

The older I become, the less this saying becomes a cliche, and the more it becomes reality.

Really, think about it!

Embracing life to the fullest has to be one of the easiest things to say but one of the hardest things to do for some of us.  Many people are worked up or hold grudges with one another about minor things in life, but fail to realize that life in itself is a gift.

 I guarantee that any family who lost a loved one on 9/11 would trade anything in the world just to spend some time in his or her presence.  Therefore, while your loved ones are still living and breathing, take time out to spend with them and truly show them you love them.

With a lot of unusual weather patterns and many other tragic events that are unfolding right before our eyes, we do not know when our last day on Earth will be.  With the direction this world is headed, truly live every day like it’s your last.

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