I remember where I was on September 11, 2001. I was sitting in my first period Probability and Statistics class when the principle announced on the PA that the World Trade Center was hit. There wasn't any other information at that time, but it scared the absolute shit out of everyone in my class. I was in shock. I left school at lunch and went home. My family was safe but no one had heard from some of my friends' parents. My dad left his office early and along with my mom and sister was sitting in front of the television when I walked into the house. For the rest of the day and week, we were glued to CNN hoping for answers. I can't tell you what happened in school or even if I attended. Life was a blur. The only thing I remember is that I sat on my family's couch watching the CNN coverage.
Growing up in New Jersey and experiencing these attacks first hand makes today have personal significance. Some of my closest childhood friends lost their parents that day in the WTC attacks. 16 and 17 year old kids who weren't able to say goodbye to their moms and dads. Looking at the skyline driving into Manhattan on the Newark Bay Extension for the past decade has been surreal. While I don't get the same emotions I did following the attacks, even to this day I know that something is missing without even being conscious of it.
The above video was made by Matthew Kaplowitz, better known as the Fight Nerd and film maker Kahleem Poole-Tejada. The video explores where different people associated with MMA in some capacity were on the day of the attacks. Like myself, they know exactly where they were on that day. Each dealt with the attacks in a different way and all have a story.
For many, the events of 9/11/2001 have faded into a distant memory. Details have blurred together and in some cases, the entire day may be forgotten. I'm happy that this video was made because I haven't forgotten. I haven't forgotten that my friend David lost his dad in the attacks. I haven't forgotten that a former mentor's mother is now dealing with declining health from being a first responder for the Red Cross to help with relief. And I sure as hell haven't forgotten President Bush's address on September 20th: "We will not tire. We will not falter. We will not fail."