I will never forget.
It is a day etched in my memory.
I awoke after a night of drinking and sex, dazed and running late for my theater class at USF. I rushed to class noticing the lack of students out. When I arrived in my class the television was on and the class, usually full of energetic dramatists stood silent as they watched the horror unfold on the screen.
I thought of my friend, Justin, who lived in the city and my grandfather, aunt and cousins who lived in Harlem. I was afraid. I was angry. I was sad. But even more than that I was determined to do what I could to ensure that America stood strong.
I had a roommate who was in the Air Force who was immediately recalled and prepared to go to war. I had friends who were in the marines and the army who I can no longer speak to because their lives were lost. I have friends who fought, a stepfather who fought, in the military who will never be the same again.
Those acts of terror had far-reaching and permanent effects upon this nation and yet, even in our most difficult times we are a nation who will continue to persevere. We are a Phoenix rising from the ashes of despair, pain, fear, and grief to be a nation forged by fire, made of steel and wearing the beauty of our scars with honor and dignity.
My thoughts today turn to those who lost their lives on that day and days following on a day of terror. I remember and honor the officers and firefighters who jumped into the fire to rescue all that they could, many who ended up losing their lives. I offer comfort to those whose lives were affected and changed by the events of that day. I stand with the soldiers who took an oath to protect and defend America at any cost. And I join hands with a nation too strong to buckle or fall to terrorists.
We will never forget.