V-Day, Kennedy, the Beatles, the Berlin Wall, 9/11… “Where Were You?”

I hadn’t even had my coffee yet. I had news radio on while I got ready for my college classes, and at first I was sure what I was listening to was a joke, like that old Orson Wells radio drama, The War of the Worlds? I was listening to a really elaborate, not really funny radio gag. Until I finally did go down for that cup of coffee and turned on the TV news. This was no joke.

I didn’t go to any of my classes that day.

Instead I went to my parents’ house and sat with my mother, glued to the TV, clutching coffee cups that did nothing but get cold in our hands as we watched with increasing shock9/11 the aftermath of the first tower being hit, and then witnessing live footage of the second tower’s horrifying demise. Even 13 years on I still remember the looks on the faces of the New Yorkers who were fleeing the area, covered in chalky white dust, their faces just as white beneath it: from fear, from disbelief, from burgeoning grief. For all Americans everywhere, starting in New York city and bleeding out, the world stopped spinning. Like a carousel grinding to a halt.

Today, over a decade removed, I still feel a heaviness on this day. The world according to the US has long since started its motors back up, the gears are all moving together again, moving us forward. But on this day everything slows a little bit still, the memories flood, the sadness over all those lives lost, and lives changed, fills my head. An entire generation is growing up “post-9/11”. An entire generation only knows the world according to terrorist threat ratings and has no memory of the New York skyline with the original Twin Towers standing proud.

But Americans have a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to. We’ve come back strong from that dark day, and though we’ve stumbled a few times in our attempts to reassert ourselves, we’re definitely standing tall again. We’re amazing that way, and have been since we were just a fledgling collection of colonies, braving the unknown for dreams of a better tomorrow. It’s our neverending dreaming that has not changed in over 300 years.

So on this 9/11, we at PinMart just want to say thank you for all the reasons you purchase our products, because they’re all so very American. From the little league teams buying trading pins, charities using awareness ribbon pins to raise money for cancer, for Fortune 500 companies thanking their employees with gold plated service pins. You help us at PinMart fulfill our desire to keep America great. You inspire us!

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