September 11 Thoughts

When us Americans (and probably abroad as well) talk about 9/11, our thoughts immediately jump to the Twin Towers. We forget about the attack on the pentagon and Flight 93 headed for the White House but was brought down in a field by passengers. I think it’s important for us to fully understand what happened on 9/11 and why in order to honor everyone whose lives were taken on this terribly tragic day.

I’ve watched so many documentaries and movies that depict what this day was like for these people. We all know the aftermath: increased security in airports and government buildings, a cry for the executions of many innocent American Muslims, the destruction and vandalization of mosques on American soil, and most notable, the War on Terror.

I don’t remember what I was doing on September 11, 2001. I know I was in the second grade. I can infer I was in school. I doubt I was allowed to watch the news coverage at the time. Or I did and didn’t really comprehend the enormity of what happened. Looking back, I’m slightly grateful I was allowed to remain innocent to the evils that happened on 9/11 even for only a little bit longer.

Avery and I were able to visit the memorial for all of those who lost their lives on that day at the site of the towers at Ground Zero. Standing there in the exact spot where thousands of people lost their lives was incredibly heartbreaking and humbling.

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Where were you on 9/11? What were you doing?

How We Got Engaged

I had absolutely no idea I was going to get engaged. I had wanted to go to NYC during December and being the persuasive person I am talked Avery into the trip as well. We planned everything out about a month before our vacation. I determined all of the bigger outings like the Statue of Liberty and Central Park. But the one place I was determined to go to was the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.

We left Austin right after my last final of the semester and got to NYC around 9 pm. I didn’t think this next fact was a big deal, but looking back, it definitely should have been a red flag. The entire time we were travelling, Avery asked three or four times if I was going to do my makeup. I knew we were going to try and walk around after we checked into our hotel. Turns out, he was planning to propose that night, but it didn’t end up happening because we got into the city too late. And the reason he kept asking if I was going to do my makeup was because my mom told him to make sure I looked good for pictures or I would be upset (she was right).

Cut to the next night, we went to dinner at John’s Pizza (best pizza ever, btw). And afterwards we walked to Rockefeller Center. While we were walking there, Avery started acting very strange. I can’t recall exactly what he was doing or saying, but I distinctly remember him acting odd. This led me to thinking, “Oh my God, what if he’s going to propose?!” I promise I had no idea, before that moment walking to see the Christmas tree, that he might be proposing.

It was confirmed in my mind when he asked me if we should ask the police officer to take our picture in front of the tree. I told Avery something to the effect of “No, wtf, why him?!” I don’t know if he didn’t hear me or didn’t care, but he went and gave this cop his phone anyway.

He came back, got down on one knee and proposed. Don’t ask me what he said because I have no idea. Had I been more prepared for it, I might be able to remember a detail or two. I was absolutely in shock. We had talked about marriage before this trip. But definitely nothing that indicated he would be proposing in the near future. Of course I said yes, after getting over my initial shock.

So on December 16, 2014, we got engaged. Avery later told me how nervous he was which would explain his weird behavior. Another red flag I should mention and should have noticed, but I’m oblivious, is my brother calling that day asking if I had specifically gone to see the tree yet. I didn’t think anything of it until after the fact. Avery had gone to talk to my mom a couple weeks before. So my whole family was anticipating it while I obliviously thought I was just about to have a nice, normal trip to NYC.

Here are some pictures of our trip and of the proposal: