Sunday, September 11, 2011

I remember September 11th

World Trade Center

Ten years ago today I was getting ready to head over to Parkland Community College to attend my Political Science class when the September 11 attacks took place. I, like most if not all of you, remember exactly where I was and exactly what I was doing when the United States of America was attacked on September 11.

I will never forget September 11, 2001.

I remember packing my school bag when I heard my mother gasp. I remember her calling my name. I remember walking into her room in a hurry to see what had happened. I remember watching as the news replayed the first World Trade Center tower being hit by a plane. I remember feeling my heart sink to floor, as if someone had just handed me the weight of the world in a bag to hold onto. And then I remember watching the impossible happen as a second plane hit the second World Trade Center tower.

My youthful innocence and naiveté of the workings of the world had fallen away as I watched in utter disbelief the cruelty of man. One plane could have been a tragic accident. But as I watched a second plane crash into a second building, it dawned on me that this was no accident. This was done on purpose with the intention to devastate.

I remember looking over at my mother, grieving for all of those people. As we sat there crying we both came to the realization that the US was going to war. This meant that my brother was going to war.

I remember walking through the rest of the day in a daze, completely numb. My eyes searched out the nearest television wherever I went in the hopes of attaining more information. I remember going to sleep that night praying that the heartbreaking events of the day had just been a bad dream.

Unfortunately it was not just a bad dream.

The events of September 11,  2001 have opened my eyes to how malicious and misguided people can be. It has also opened my eyes to the generosity and heroism each person is capable of.

Thousands of people lost their lives that day.  Firefighters, Paramedics, and Police officers rushed in to aide those in need. People, just like you and me, rushed to do what they could to help. Whether it be donating blood at the New York Blood Center or raising an American flag outside their front door, people did what they could to show support and help one another. There was a sense of unity among American’s post 9/11.
Ten years later I think back on the events of the day and everything that has taken place since and I feel blessed. I appreciate my family and friends. I try not to ever forget to say “I love you” when saying goodbye to the people I care about. I try to be more tolerant and open-minded about things that are different. I try to always be kind.
I feel blessed to be an American. I feel blessed to have been born in a Nation that values freedom and that works at maintaining it daily.

Freedom is not free. There are people that pay for our freedom with their very lives. To those military men and women both past and present, I say thank you. I appreciate all that you have sacrificed and all that you continue to do to ensure that the United States of America is free. Thank you!

Ten years later and I am not full of loathing or anger. In fact, I’m confused. I don’t understand why it happened in the first place. I don’t understand the destructiveness, the hatred, the complete disregard for the value of human life needed to carry out these acts. I hope I never do.

In remembrance of September 11th I will pray for the lives that were lost, the families left behind, the soldiers fighting for freedom, and for the world to be a more tolerant, forgiving, and accepting place.


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