Every year, on this day, I am completely somber. I am constantly reminded how lucky and blessed I am to be alive and to have everything I do.

As a New Yorker, through and through, my heart breaks every single 9/11. It was a tragedy that I will never forget.

I remember like it was yesterday; I was in my fourth grade classroom, surrounded by my friends, learning in our early morning math class. My school was next to a parkway, one that lead directly in Manhattan. 

We saw and heard all the sirens rushing to the scene and we were completely confused as to what was going on. Then, the principal came over the loud speaker and kids started to be called out of class. Me, along with my two best friends were the second kids to be called out.

My mom was waiting in the principal's office, looking a nervous wreck. I could tell something was wrong. I asked what happened and she said nothing, she'd tell me later.

We drove home and my mom's cousin was sitting on my front steps, sobbing. Her friend was in the twin towers (she was fine) and she didn't know what to do. I was taken to my friend's house after my mom explained to me what had happened. I watched on television the towers collapse, I remember watching someone throw themselves out the window, falling to their death; it was so much more to me. I lived here, I lived in New York. It was astounding how I felt in that moment.

I remember being mesmerized by the towers, always. To see them burning like that, to see them collapse, it was something I never thought would happen. 

My dad worked at the New York Stock Exchange, blocks away from WTC. I was so incredibly nervous, as was my mother, as to where he was. 

My dad walked home over the Brooklyn Bridge, along with all other New Yorkers, completely distraught. He didn't get home till 8pm that night; my neighbors were outside waiting for him. Covered in soot and debris, in his sweaty business suit, my father threw himself on the front lawn and cried.

I remember this day so vividly, so clearly and I don't think I'll ever forget.

It was something that was so close to home for me and it completely changed our city, it changed our country, it changed out world; it changed me forever.

It's true what they say, New Yorkers are some of the strongest people you will ever meet. We got through that, 12 years ago, we could get through anything.

Take the time today to remember those who died, who risked their lives, and who lost loved ones. I know a lot of people who lost someone in 9/11 and to just commemorate their memories means the world to them.

I'll be taking my time going through today and remembering where I was 12 years ago today. I'll look up at the sky tonight and see those blue lights that shine bright where the towers once stood.

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