Originally posted September 11, 2015

If you’ve been to New York City in the past 14 years, you’ve seen the large pool-like memorial where the twin towers used to stand. Most people remember the moment when they heard that the twin towers had fallen. I remember my mom crying, though I didn’t understand until 6 years later what this actually meant, when I saw a compilation of cell phone videos of the 9/11 attacks. These included people filming from their apartments, and people running down the street from the dust and ash storm that covered the city in seconds. The “Big Apple” seemed to be covered in debris to the point of no return.

It’s history now, but its effects will live on forever. There are new things we didn't know about 9/11 attacks. The emergency services phone systems were tied up. Inside the building, from the 72nd floor up, the doors were locked down. The intercom system malfunctioned and told everyone to stay at their desks. The emergency fire system also malfunctioned and doors were jammed so people were locked in the building.

This tragedy will live in my mind forever and I often feel helpless, like nothing I do from here can help any of the families.  So this year I decided to contact the 9/11 memorial and see if I could get the mailing addresses from the family members and send them letters, or something to show that even though my family was not hurt in these attacks, I still hurt. When I started talking to a lady from the memorial, she said she could not give me that information, and even if she had that info, over 2,900 people died in that attack. But she did tell me something I could do. She said “go into your community, do something good, and  #2996 on social media.” This is the exact number of people who died in the attacks. By helping your community, you help those families see the good that can come from a tragedy.

by Ashley Riddle

Jeffrey HernandezComment