I was a sophomore in high school, standing in my second period Chorus class when it happened. I had no idea that ten years later on that same day I would be on a plane, flying out of New York. And to top it all off, I am the flight leader on my trip, for the first time.

I arrived earlier than usual, anticipating a delay from the heightened security (that we should all be grateful for) - but it was a bit of a ghost town.

Those of us within the terminal remained transfixed on the television screens spread throughout. Everyone was quiet. Perhaps out of remembrance, perhaps out of fear, or perhaps because there are only so many things to actually say about it.

Bagpipes resounded from the memorial service displayed on the screens as I walked toward the gate and I fought my eyes from filling up with tears.

Everyone is walking a bit slower, and life seems more quiet in the airport.

I am reminded of the fragility and breath that life is, and as I am sitting in Minneapolis before my next flight, there is a children's choir on the television in the background singing Empire State of Mind. 

I hope this is a day of hugs that are longer, and words that are sweeter. God knows the number of our days, and we are to live them well.

My heart and my prayers for everyone that remembers love lost, and my deepest gratitude for every person that sacrifices for our country's safety.