9/11 still hurts 13 years later.

13 years ago I was sitting in a high school computer lab minding my own business whilst studying for my A+ course. About halfway through class a friend of mine sent me an AOL instant message with a link to a smoking building in NYC…

Being rather sheltered in my southern upbringing, I had no idea what building it was or why it was smoking, but I immediately knew a something confusing and horrible was unfolding on the front page of the Chicago Tribune website. By the time I walked into AP Biology class, all the TV’s were on and we watched live as the second plane exploded into tower two.

Shock. Horror. Complete confusion.

What I thought was a horrible accident — a tragedy — reformed in my mind as something even darker — more sinister.

An act of pure hatred.

Many heroes were born that day, and many heroes died. To this moment, I still tear up thinking about it. Even as I’m writing this, I realize that even for me — a kid from South Carolina who didn’t even know what the World Trade Center was — Even for me… This day changed the course of my life, and all of our lives, forever.

To the heroes and their families, I want to say thank you. Even on the darkest of days you still make us proud.

We continue to pray for you. #neverforget

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