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The former First Lady took to Instagram on Saturday, Sept. 11 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the horrific events that unfolded at New York City's World Trade Center.
In her moving message, the public figure recalled her memories of that tragic morning on Sept. 11, 2001. At the time, she and her husband and former President Barack Obama lived in Chicago with their two daughters, Malia and Sasha, who were then very young.
"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," the Becoming author began her caption. "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?"
The best-selling author explained that 9/11 draws up a unique memory for those who were old enough to understand what was happening. Moreover, she noted that even though time has passed, the tragic event is still painful after all of these years.
"It's a snapshot—a time capsule—back to a different moment for all of us," she shared. "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."
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"So today, I hope you'll take an extra moment to mourn, to reflect, and most of all, to remember," Obama continued. "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."
She concluded, "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."
Her husband also offered a special tribute on Instagram, writing in part, "For Michelle and me, the enduring image of that day is not simply falling towers or smoldering wreckage. It's the firefighters running up the stairs as others were running down. The passengers deciding to storm a cockpit, knowing it could be their final act. The volunteers showing up at recruiters' offices across the country in the days that followed, willing to put their lives on the line."