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Public figures and former U.S. presidents have been reflecting on 9/11 throughout its 20th anniversary Saturday, and in a new Instagram post, former First Lady Michelle Obama recalls where she and her daughters were when she found out about the terrorist attack.
At the time of the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, Obama says she was living in Chicago with her husband Barack, on what was her eldest daughter Malia’s first day of nursery school.
“I remember taking her photo, dropping her off for the very first time, and feeling those pangs of separation from my baby,” She wrote. “I’d just buckled newborn Sasha into her car seat and was driving back home when I heard the news on the radio—and the uncertainty and anxiety set in almost immediately. What was happening? Had the world just changed? What kind of future were our girls going to enter?”
Michelle continued, writing that everybody has a different memory of where they were on 9/11, and that the date continues to be painful years later. “For those who lost loved ones, it’s especially painful to relive,” she shared. “My heart goes out to all those for whom this wasn’t just a national tragedy, but a personal one.”
The First Lady concluded, reminding her followers to “mourn, to reflect, and most of all, to remember,” as well as living lives that reflect “kindness and compassion, our courage and resilience.”
“They’re the values that lifted us up twenty years ago,” Michelle wrote. “And I hope they can guide us all, not just on an anniversary like this, but every single day.”
Earlier on Saturday, former President Obama shared his own statement on Twitter and Instagram, while he appeared in Manhattan alongside President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton, writing to his followers that “9/11 reminded us how so many Americans give of themselves in extraordinary ways — not just in moments of great crisis, but every single day.”
“Let’s never forget that,” he wrote, “and let’s never take them for granted.”