On September 11, 2001, I was just four years old. I knew nothing of what was happening in the world. My father was away on a trip, and while my parents were secretly crying together over the phone that morning while watching the news, my world continued uninterrupted, with a busy schedule of preschool, playing and Sesame Street.
I had no way of grasping what was going on, and I’m glad my parents kept the graphic images of the Twin Towers out of my sight. At such a young age, all I needed to know was that my dad’s return from his business trip was delayed, because the airplanes were broken.
I grew up with a heightened sense of patriotism, never questioning that America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. I was raised knowing that our firefighters, police and military are heroes who willingly give their lives to protect us and those freedoms we hold so dear.
As I look back on the tragedies of 9/11 – that changed so many lives and helped shape mine – I can only be thankful to those men and women who were so brave that day, and all the days since. My heart swells with pride, and a tear comes to my eye, when I hear patriotic songs. I may not have been part of 9/11, but it is a part of me.