16 years ago, September 11th. 2001. I was sitting in my grandmas living room while my parents were at work. A date and time which I will remember for the rest of my life.
At 8:46am the first plane struck the North Tower of The World Trade Center in New York.
At 9:03am the second plane struck the South Tower of The World Trade Center.
At 9:37am a third plane stuck the western side of The Pentagon in Washington D.C.
At 9:59 the South Tower of TWC collapsed.
At 10:07am a fourth plane crashed into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
At 10:28 the North Tower of TWC collapsed.
I was one year old almost two. I sat there wondering; Who would do this? Why would they do this? We will never understand why. The worst terrorist attack in the history of our nation and we were all in shock.
I’m holding everyone who lost a loved one on 9/11 in my heart today. These families are all missing someone – they know all too well the pain of an empty seat at a graduation, a wedding, or at the dinner table.
I hope they know that no matter how many years pass, we will never forget their loss. And we will never let them bear it alone.
In New York, I see a vivid example of one of the most powerful lessons about resilience. Resilience is not just built in individuals – it is built among individuals in our cities, our neighborhoods, and our communities. You can see it in the businesses that lost hundreds of employees that day and kept going. You can see it in the firehouse in midtown that was hit harder than any other when most of its first responders never came back – but that still stands strong today. And you can see it in the families who have found the determination to carry on after losing fathers, wives, and children. In the years after 9/11, New York City mourned and changed. But its resilience never wavered.