I remember hearing the word "terrorism" for the first time in reference to our country.
I remember the fear of being an 8th grader and not really feeling safe.
I remember worrying there would be more attacks.
I remember wondering how the sky could be so beautifully blue, the sun so brilliant, on a day that was such a tragedy.
I remember eating lunch in the cafeteria and wondering if the missing plane was going to crash into our school.
I remember wondering if my parents knew about what was happening and how I would explain it to them if they hadn't.
I remember watching those three people on the top floor holding hands, two women and a man, waving a white piece of cloth before leaping hand in hand.
I remember how even though I didn't know anyone personally in those towers, I was heartbroken for them.
Fifteen years later, I look at the sky today and it reminds of me of that September sky my 8th grade year. It's hard to believe it's been so long, but watching those ceremonies, all of the memories, the terror, the sadness comes right back.
September 11, 2001, reminded us all that life could change forever on an ordinary Tuesday. It reminded us to never take a good-bye for granted, to hold our loved ones a little closer, and that life is a precious gift that is never guaranteed.
So on this blue-sky day, we remember the lives lost. We remember the sorrow. And we remember to breathe a little deeper today, hug our family a little bit closer, and soak in every beautiful moment. We remember the day the world changed, and we remember to live the gift we've been given but not promised.