More than the day itself,
more than the shock
of an 17-year-old crammed into a cafeteria watching impossible history unfold on a grainy TV with 500 other souls who suddenly felt so
tiny and vulnerable,
I remember the days that followed—
the rousing of a nation’s heart,
the galvanization of her people,
saying proudly through blood and tears,
“You may shatter steel, but you cannot shatter us.”
The ring of America coming true.
Twenty years and half a million lives later,
where that feeling went,
how we forgot
who and why we are.
More than that,
what I will tell my daughter when she asks
what it was like,
what it was all for.