Ten years ago today I 19 years old and working as a live-in nanny in Pennsylvania. I remember standing in the living room and on the news it showed the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center. At first it didn't really seem like a big deal. I thought it was strange that a plane had crashed into the building, but had no idea that our country was under attack.
I kept watching, and Beth, the mom of the family I worked for, came in and was watching the news with me. We were supposed to be going into New York the very next day to watch the Lion King on Broadway. Our tickets were purchased six months earlier and we wondered if we'd be able to go into the city the next day to see the show. Then our answer came with the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center.
We knew something was wrong and we knew that we would not be going into the city. Beth and her husband were both from New York and a few of our neighbors even worked at the World Trade Center. New York City was only about an hour and a half away from where we lived.
For the next 48 hours I was glued to the television. A few hours after the WTC was hit the news announced that there was still an airplane flying over Pennsylvania. I was so scared that it was going to crash somewhere close to where we lived, or even hit our house. It was a creepy feeling to know that there was still a plane flying around and wondering where it was going to hit. Not until I heard that it had crashed into a field in a town a few hours away did I relax a little bit.
As I continued to watch the day's events unfold there was one thing that kept coming to my mind: I wanted to go home and be with my family. I loved the family that I was a nanny for and was grateful to be with them, rather than being with myself, but during that time all I longed for was home. I believe that during a time of catastrophe and fear, people tend to seek for the things that are most important in life: family and God.
When it really gets down to it, nothing else matters. Our relationships with our family and loved ones are so incredibly important and a great source of love and fulfillment. Our relationship with God reminds us of who we really are and what life is really all about, which is to live good, treat people good and make it back to heaven to be with God again.
September 11th was a tragedy that led thousands of people to put their arms around their family members and to turn their hearts back to God. It was a very sad, but special time in history. After 9/11 I still had one month of being a nanny and then was going to be moving home. I remember the day I came home. I flew out of the Newark airport and there were guards all over the place. It was quiet and very solemn. I had to arrive two hours early and all of my bags were searched.
When I returned home I finally felt peace. After weeks of watching the news and being afraid that there would be more attacks and watching thousands of people mourn the loss of loved ones, I was so glad to be home and to be with the people that are most important in my life.
9/11 is a reminder to me of what matters most in life. Our country has been so blessed and we tend to forget just how good we have it here. What can I do in honor of 9/11? I can love my family. I can love strangers, realizing that we are all part of the human family. I can remember God and how much He has blessed my life. I can look into the face of everyone I meet and remember that we are all children of God and I can choose to treat everyone with kindness and unconditional love. One act of kindness can ignite a wildfire of kindness and understanding. Just think of what would happen in the world if we spent our time doing small acts of kindness for people that come into our lives. No force in the world could stop flow of goodness and love.