This article was originally posted on Sept. 11, 2011.
As we approach the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, many of us have stories to tell from that time and how it changed our lives.
Here's my story.
I can recall the day vividly. It was my senior year at Hazelwood West High School. I was in my first hour human behavior class with Ms. Watson.
There was an announcement and the school was essentially locked down. We all were terrified. We couldn't contact our parents. Ms. Watson turned on the television and we saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center. There was an ominous feeling in the classroom and I don't think anyone that was aware of what was going at that time, has forgotten the way they felt that day.
After the effects of initial shock wore off, the next thought that entered my head was that of how my family was doing. At that time, I had a cousin that worked at the Pentagon.
That cousin, Antoinette Sherman, was killed in the Pentagon during the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. She survived the initial impact but died from extensive burn and other injuries sustained days later.
So this chain of events changed my life in two ways. I lost a close family member and that impacted my entire family. The second way my life was changed was because the attacks and subsequent news coverage convinced me that journalism was indeed my passion and would be my outlet to tell captivating stories about people.
The stories I read regarding my cousin and her co-workers, and seeing the true emotion in the faces of family members in the news coverage was inspiring. I wanted to be able to give people an outlet to share their experiences.
I had so many emotions about the attacks. I was confused. I didn't understand how the attacks could happen and destroy such a beautiful woman like my cousin. She had such a great spirit and she died a painful death that made me question so many things. But watching the news—viewing slideshows and reading such heartfelt coverage—was therapeutic for my grief.
What's your story?
Many activities are scheduled for today. From church ceremonies to concerts, volunteer service activities and much more you can gather with others members to honor such a devastating historical event, and turn it into positivity in your community.
That fateful day changed the country and many peoples' lives. It altered reality for citizens, created orphans, changed America's political system, the economy and in many ways shifted public policies for us a nation.
How did it impact you?
Where were you on 9/11? How do you plan to explain it to your children if they are too young to remember it?
Tell us in the comments, below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear your story.
If you want to join a national remembrance effort, check out Action America to tell the country how you're taking positive action in your community.