During Spring break of 2017 I was giving a great opportunity to go to New York with some kids from the Fountain Valley High School’s theatre department. I had never been to New York before and I was really excited to experience it with some of my favorite people. I was also had the amazing opportunity to bring my Grandma, Mom, and my Mom’s best friend on the trip.
We took a red eye flight from LAX and I will tell you that was a pretty awful experience because after the flight we had to continue throughout the whole day walking around New York.
With our tour guide, Janet, we went around a bunch of landmarks in New York. We saw many things like the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Center. Though I think my favorite place that we visited was the 9/11 memorial.
I was kind of nervous to be going to the 9/11 memorial because I was scared of what I would see or what I would learn. When you first get there it’s odd because you could feel the energy change. I don’t know maybe it was just me. As we went I started to feel even more nervous. We started to go deeper and deeper into the building until you saw the concrete of ground zero. I just stopped for a minute and took it in.
As you continued there were many pieces of artifacts that you were able to touch and to be honest with you I was scared to. I was afraid that if I touched it I would be overcome with emotion. So, I avoided it for a while until I felt like I had to. I touched this display outside with all the names on it. As I looked around, reading, my friend Sage said, “Do you remember any of the names we saw inside ,so we can try to find them?,” I looked at her and said, “No, I don’t.” And in that moment I realized what just happened. Sage and I spent probably 15 minutes or more reading about the victims on 9/11, but I couldn’t remember one single name. How could I have done that.
Sage and I just sat in silence and continued to look at the names. I realized I had to remember one name or I had no right to say Never Forget. I remembered the name Rodney Dickens. He was a child who was on a school trip and was on American Airlines Flight 77 which went into the Pentagon, he was 11 years old.
This is a photo of him
This is the picture of the Pentagon. The place where Rodney’s life ended.