I can remember vividly that at the time of 9/11 I was sat in my mum’s car waiting for her come out of Argos.
Little did I know as my seven year old self realise that the events about to unfold were part of a moment in history that kids of the future would study in school.
For every child, there eventually comes a time when your bubble of innocence is popped: a time when you realise that the world is actually a pretty dangerous place and that there are some pretty scary people out there.
My mum returned from the shop with a present for my brother’s friend (they were just turning five) and explained what had happened. It was all over the car radio and TV when we got home, but as kid I didn’t fully understand the true meaning behind what had happened.
In fact, you didn’t have to be a child to feel confused about why someone would kill so many people.
It wasn’t until years later that we realised the full extent of how horrible this event really was, and how much it would impact our lives 13 years on.
However, the force hits you even harder when you read testimonies from American’s there that day. Ordinary people that had never done anything wrong being told that their father would never come home that night, or they would never see their partner again.
I can’t even watch any of the programmes that circulate TV around early September with memories and footage from that day without shedding a tear.
The force hits you the greatest when you read about the true effect 9/11 has had around the globe, and particularly in countries where we have since been to war. I saw a statistic on twitter this morning that said millions of innocent civilians had lost their lives by the conflict caused by 9/11.
I didn't lose a personal friend or family member on that tragic day. I don’t live in America, and my life hasn’t be thrown into turmoil by the following wars, but what I did lose that day was faith in humanity.
In some ways it marks the end of my blissfully innocent childhood and that of many others my age. We learnt that the world isn’t always a safe and good place and there are people out there that can inflict nasty crimes.
And today, when I reflected back on that eventful day from my childhood I learnt that if there is one thing we should take from 9/11 it is that we should never take “ordinary” moments for granted.
I thought about the ordinary goodbye I give my mum and dad in a morning and the ordinary “I love you” I give to my boyfriend. The ordinary hugs I give my friends and even the ordinary pat I give my dog.
But, today I realised that those things aren’t that ordinary after all. They’re a moment in time that many people who have suffered the consequences of September 11 2001 will never have.
So, if there’s one thing I am going to learn from 9/11 it is that nothing should be treated as ordinary. Your life and the people that bless it are a gift, and that should never be taken for granted.