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Sep 11, 2013

9/11: 12 Years Later, Never Forget | New York, NY

There are rare moments in time where the world seems to stand still. Moments of global significance that leave us knowing with certainty, that we will never forget.

Till this day, the images I saw when I woke up to the news of the 9/11 attacks are still vivid in my mind. I was getting ready to start my day, heading to class at USC when I flipped on the television and saw what would ultimately be forever etched in my heart and mind.

The images of those planes cutting into the Twin Towers was shocking, devastating and quite frankly scary. I will never forget seeing the second skyscraper topple over on live television. It was unbelievable, unfathomable, and simply unreal. My heart sank as I watched the screen fill with black smoke and debris, and I can still remember the cold dampness on my face from crying at the thought of all those who perished in the rubble and devastation.

And for many days to come, I found myself sitting silently … hoping, praying, and wishing for better days ahead.

With my family at my side, we spent the next three days glued to the news coverage, listening to story after story of loved ones praying for miracles that their parent, sibling, spouse, child, relative, or friend would somehow be found alive. I read and listened to each tragic story, each desperate plea, and endless stories of the courageous men and women, selfless police officers, firefighters and first responders who died in the senseless attacks and the heroes who stood united following the devastation . . . it was unbearably difficult to watch such pain and sadness. But for some reason, I could not look away.

I will never forget what it felt like that day.

During our two trips to NYC for an engagement session and wedding, we visited the 9/11 memorial site– it was a place I felt like I needed to see with Tommy and Cheyenne by my side. I want our daughter to know of the devastation that occurred here, of the lives that were lost, of the people who sacrificed their lives to help others that day and in the months and years that  followed — all those heroes that should never be forgotten. I want her to know how precious life is and to be grateful for every freedom and opportunity that fills her days … and to strive to love and inspire those around her each and every day of her life.

While I am undeniably a West Coast girl by heart, I’d like to think my soul is filled with the resiliency and strength of a New Yorker. And what I want my daughter to always know is that in life, when you fall or find yourself broken, you always get back up and you never give up …

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We wanted to share some of the images we took during our last visit to Ground Zero — it is truly a place that everyone should visit at least once. There is a haunting beauty and peace that emanates from these grounds — a sacred space of love, prayer, hope and light.

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