As a former First Lady, Michelle Obama has often been candid about how different American milestones have affected her, and back in 2021, she opened up about her thoughts on a particularly poignant one.
She shared photographs of the support work she and her husband Barack had done with those affected by the tragedy of September 11, 2001, on the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
Alongside the pictures, she attached an emotional message, detailing her feelings on the day of the attacks and how they also impacted her daughters, Malia and Sasha.
“I spent the morning of September 11, 2001, with my girls in Chicago,” she penned. “It was 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.
“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?
She further reflected on the larger picture of the day, continuing: “Each of us, if we were old enough at the time, has our own story from that day.
” It’s a snapshot—a time capsule—back to a different moment for all of us. For those who lost loved ones, it’s especially painful to relive. My heart goes out to all those for whom this wasn’t just a national tragedy, but a personal one.”
Michelle continued: “So today, I hope you’ll take an extra moment to mourn, to reflect, and most of all, to remember.
It’s up to all of us to make sure that we’re honoring all those memories that come rushing back by living lives that reflect not just the trauma of that day, but the best that was on display, too: our kindness and compassion, our courage and resilience.
“They’re the values that lifted us up twenty years ago. And I hope they can guide us all, not just on an anniversary like this, but every single day.”