Today is the 12th anniversary of the worst attack on American soil since pearl harbor. On September 11, 2001, nearly 3000 people died when hijackers crashed two planes into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one into a field in Pennsylvania after the brave passengers fought back against the hijackers. What started off as a normal Tuesday morning turned to tragedy which changed the country forever. Thousands lost their loved ones; parents, grandparents, friends, children, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives... Their lives changed most of all. So many memories that could have been made were lost, because of the acts of pure evil that took place on that day.
While my memory of September 11th is vague because I was so young at the time, I will never forget that day. I remember that I was in second grade, and my 8th birthday was a little over a month away. I don't remember what exactly what we were working on at the time, but I remember our teacher pulling as all into a corner, telling us that we were on lockdown. She then went on to tell us that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and in a field in Pennsylvania. Being only 7 years old, I thought, whats the big deal? Planes crash all the time right? At the time, I didn't understand the concept of war or terrorists, or even understand that someone would do something like this out of evil. I remember being upset that day that we couldn't go out and play for recess, even though it was sunny out. I lost some playtime... but that was nothing compared to the thousands who lost there lives, and the families that lost their loved ones. I went home that day to see images of the burning Twin Towers on the news. My parents then explained to me that this wasn't an accident, it was something that terrorists did on purpose.
I had no understanding of why anyone would do something like that. Why would someone attack the United States? How can someone hate this wonderful country so much? I had no idea that there was so much evil in the world. To this day I still don't understand why anyone could have so much hate in their heart as to do something like this. But I do know this, there is a lot of evil in the world. But then through the evil, there is also good in the world. September 11 was a tragedy, but it did not weaken our spirit. That day showed us how cruel the world could be, but it also showed the good in us. All of the good that the first responders did to save as many people as they could from the World Trade Center, and all of the people who came together to help one another to get through the tragic events of that day. Through all the tragedy, when everyone came together, it made us stronger.
That year for my 8th birthday in October we had been planning for me to go on a plane ride. As I had always wanted to fly when I was younger. To look down at the world below me, looking at all the little buildings and the people that look like ants. But because of the events of 9/11 all flights were grounded, so I couldn't go on the plane ride. I was really bummed, but after knowing about the plane crashes, I understood why. I honestly didn't really want to go on a plane after learning about the crashes anyways. I would have much preferred to do something... less scary at the time.
2 years ago for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 my school did two remembrance ceremonies for those who died that day. One for the students, and one for the community. For the student ceremony I remember that they asked each of us to make a drawing of our thoughts on that day to put on a post and put in the ground outside. We also given a list of a few of the people who died on 9/11, and were asked to incorporate there name somewhere on the drawing. The list also gave the ages of the people who died that day. On my list I saw that one of the victims was a 7-year-old boy. My first thought was, that that is way to young to die. He'll never get to make all of those great memories that come along with growing up. He won't get to go to middle school, high school, prom, graduation, college, get a job, get married, and have a family. As all those thoughts went through my head it hit me... we were the exact same age.
On most days of the year I wake up having absolutely no clue as to what the date is. Only significant dates stand out in my head that it is in fact, that date. September 11th should never have been one of those days where I wake up, well aware of the significance of that day. I often wonder what it was like to wake up that day before the attacks happened and not see any significance to the day. I imagine it felt like it did that morning when I headed off to school, or the year before that when I probably didn't even know it was even September. Sometimes I see the twin towers in older TV shows and it gives me this eery feeling. Like this one episode of Full House where Stephanie built the New York skyline out of blocks, and the twin towers were there plain as day. A small scene that holds a lot more significance now then it did when that was probably first aired. At that time, it just seemed like an everyday thing.
As I was writing this, several planes flew over my house, and it gives me this weird feeling.... It's an eery feeling, mixed with a sense that we have begun to move forward. We will never forget September 11th, but it won't hold us back. We will stand strong and keep pushing forward.
Where were you on September 11, 2001?
Proud To Be An American
United We Stand