“I didn’t want this for you, guys,” my Grandmother said as tears flowed down her cheeks. She had just gotten back from picking up my younger brother from school with my Mom as we all gathered in my living room and watched the world slowly unravel right before us. Her words have been burned into my brain since that day. She was a child of the depression and World War II, was a wife when the Vietnam War claimed the lives of thousands of American men in the draft and watched helplessly as our nation’s president got assassinated in 1963. She had seen too many things in her time and had wanted better for her children and grandchildren after her.

Every generation has those moments where they could tell you exactly what they were doing, where they were doing it and how much their life changed when that historical event happened, and every generation prays for better for the next. It is unfortunate that the children of my generation and the generation after me will probably never know a world without terrorism. September 11, 2001 began as a normal day and ended as one of the saddest days in our nation’s history.

As a New Yorker, today is somber in my experience. I was 12 years old at the time; I was old enough to know what had happened on that day. I should have been at school but I was home that day asleep. After the second tower was hit, my Father woke me up and we both sat speechless as we watched the news report the horrific scene.  Now at 26 years old, I travel the same path so many people did that day. It is an eerie feeling to know how many people went to work that day thinking it was just another day and never came back to see any more.

14 years may have passed but this is a memory that lives on forever.