I cry for the people who went to work in New York that morning, in 2001, not knowing that day was their last.
I cry for those who survived, and for the pain and suffering that lingers within them still.
I cry for the first responders who charged into burning buildings to rescue people, not hesitating although knowing they may not emerge from the crumbling shambles.
I cry for the people of Manhattan who wandered the ash-clouded streets, terrified and lost.
I cry for those that boarded planes, expecting to arrive safely and timely to their destinations.
I cry for those at the Pentagon, who felt safe and guarded in their cocoon of national security.
I cry for the brave passengers of the Pennsylvania crash who took charge, knowing their fates were already sealed, saving lives of unknown tolls.
I cry for all of the military troops who have been deployed since that day, because of that day – those who have fought, only to return home with PTSD, and the ones that didn’t come home at all.
I cry for each and every single family member and friend who has lost a loved one, or who has been affected in any way by the attacks.
I cry for the nation of people who sat in front of their televisions, enveloped in fear and uncertainty, watching the horror unfold, wondering why this was happening, what was going to happen next and when it was going to end.
I cry for the years that have separated us from that day – for those that have healed and moved on, not reflecting for a second on the tragedy that tortured us fourteen years ago.
I cry for those who are too young to have felt the pain and dread, who only know that day as a day in history, not as the day that will always be permanently and vividly etched into their brains.
I cry for the small-town, naive, twenty-three year old girl from Georgia. Her unscathed soul slashed, hope and optimism pouring to the ground, washing away while fear and devastation filled the vacancy. Her utopia destroyed, leaving her scared and jaded against peace and humanity, possibly forever.
I open myself to vulnerability on this day. I pick at my wounded heart until it bleeds. I feel the searing rawness of my memories invade my mind.
And I cry.
Because I never want to forget.