Remembering 9/11

Like Americans across the country, I spent a good deal of time yesterday reflecting on the terrifying moment 10 years ago that gripped our nation - when the unbelievable happened and planes crashed into the Twin Towers. I was a freshman in high school on 9/11/01; I vividly remember my mom rushing into my bedroom to wake me up, saying "We're under attack!" In my half-awake state, I thought she meant that our house was under attack - but I quickly realized she meant our country as I watched in horror as the towers crumbled.

Although I was lucky to not be directly affected by 9/11, the event itself and its foreign policy repercussions have certainly shaped the future of my generation. For many young people, the War on Terror changed the landscape of their young adult lives forever. While I am not a proponent of the War on Terror, I fully support the men and women who serve our country. On this anniversary, we honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in the 10 years since then in defense of America.

One way to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 is to live each day to the fullest. In that spirit, I joined my New Balance SV teammates in a cross-country race in Golden Gate Park yesterday. This sign was posted at the check-in table:

The message of the sign was not lost on me, and throughout the day yesterday I reminded myself to run joyfully, be thankful for my health and this opportunity to run, and to embrace the day fully.
Kate, Chantelle, Fitz, me, Maddie pre-race
My teammates and I performed well; I finished 4th overall in a comfortable tempo effort (results are here) and we did well as a group, placing all 5 women in the top 20. More importantly, we had a great time! Lots of love for NBSV!
NBSV ladies plus Billy
I hope that everyone had a safe 9/11 anniversary, and for those who have been affected by 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror, you are in my thoughts. One final thought on 9/11 and our troops: in 2009 I had the opportunity to travel to West Point to attend the 61st annual Student Conference on United States Affairs (SCUSA 61) and meet many brave cadets training and studying at the United States Military Academy. Over the course of four days, I joined students from across the country in discussing and debating US foreign policy; it was one of the most stimulating weeks of my academic career! While we didn't always agree, we did have a mutual respect for each others' opinions and listened patiently while sharing the individual experiences that had helped shape our policy perspectives. I left West Point with a profound respect for our military servicemen and women who so bravely serve our country. I spent a lot of yesterday thinking of my time at SCUSA and the people I met there; on 9/11/11, we honor them and remember our fallen heroes.

Run joyfully, and never forget.