Has September 11th Really Changed America?
September 11, 2001 Never Forget...
With an important anniversary coming soon, I feel the need to express my feelings and recollections for a day permanently implanted in my head. A day that we as Americans watched as history was changed and people's lives were ultimately changed for the worst. It is amazing to me to think that I was on this earth when history was changed and made. When the ultimate tragic event hit us right here in our hearts on our home soil. We stand strong and time has shown that we will fight to the death for our beloved country and freedom. I am proud to be an American.
A Day In The Life Of...
I will never forget that day for as long as I live. I was a 7th grader at middle school in Virginia sitting at the lunch table with my girlfriend's enjoying our daily laughter and middle school crisis's. Our table was next to a window that showed the front of our ginormous, ancient school. I remember looking over and seeing parent after parent walking into the front doors and soon after leaving with their child. What was going on? It wasn't until lunch was over and we presumed back to our fifth period class that we were going to be informed. My civics teacher by this time had moved the television to the middle of the classroom with an unreadable, gloomy look on her face. When we were all seated and the final bell had rang, she broke the news of the planes that had crashed into the World Trade Center. I do not think by this time, it was known of the crash into the Pentagon. Being a seventh grader in middle school, and never really going through such a tragedy like this before, I do not think any of us really understood the severity of the situation. That was until she turned the television on and scenes and images of utter chaos flashed on the screen. Our mouths were wide open in shock. It was then that our principal announced over the loudspeaker we would all be going home.
Upon reaching home, I had realized that my mother had only just found out about the news through a phone call from my brother, and was now hysterical. Not only because of the chaos this ensued, but because at the time, my father worked in DC and was about seven miles from the Pentagon. Panic. Me being a child, I can remember a numb feeling. Feelings of not knowing what to feel at such a sudden change in our history as an American. Looking back, I know I had to be frightened and frustrated at not fully understanding who did this, why, and what does it mean? At last, my father had arrived home safely, aggravated at traffic, but home safe and sound nonetheless. I remember spending the rest of the night downstairs in the living room watching the news coverage next to my family. Over and over again they would show the scenes of the planes crashing and the frantic people running. Being 23 years old today, I can still see those exact faces in my head, their tears, their screams, the jumping from the windows for victims with no other choice. Something like that is purely unforgettable.
America The Brave
America now stood closer together. We are a family. We are angry. We are sad. We want revenge. We want peace. A war broke out. Though it has been years since the event, it seems like it was just yesterday. I wish I could honestly say that we all changed drastically because of this history-changing event, but I do not think those words would mark truth. We may have changed for a temporary time because of the sadness and shock. War had developed and we watched our soldiers go overseas and fight. We were fighting for two causes, the capture of Saddam and and capture of Osama. But here back home, lives soon went back to normal. Aggravation broke out because of more security at airports and borders though it was for our protection and safety. Our people went back to killing our own people for their own selfish reasons. Businesses went back to business. Money needs to be made somehow. I kept growing, moved to a different state for high school, met new friends. Eventually, I had two children and developed the Single Mom Syndrome. I have since been working full time while saving to go back to school and raising my children.
Then a beautiful thing happened that brought the idea of an American family back together. A yet another day very hard to forget. May 1, 2011- the day Osama Bin Laden was killed by our Navy Seal troops. Ding dong the witch is dead. Victory. The newspapers were covered, another deja vu to 9-11, and we saw people from all over the country pour into the streets in immediate celebration. We as Americans had come together yet again in a united front. The first time it was shock and greif. This time it was pure joy at the death of the most wanted man in America. I find myself thinking sometimes of, "How had it come to this?" Why were millions of people celebrating the murder of another human being? How is that right? It may be my own personal opinion, but when that thought creeps into my head, it instantly disappears when the images of the scared, crying, jumping victims come back into play.
America, How Have We Changed?
So how have we changed? Sometimes it is not fully apparent in our actions and faces, but I feel deep inside our bones, it affected us all. A recent event proves part of that fact to be true. The recent earthquake on the East Coast broke out. We watched many instantly panic at not the thought of a natural disaster, but at the thought of maybe this was yet another terrorist attack against our country. Earthquakes breakout in California often, and more recently one in Colorado, but for us, the people on the East Coast, it brought back a nostalgic feeling of the sounds and ground moving. The people flooded out into the streets in another union to make sure everything and everybody was alright so close to a 10 year anniversary of a day never forgotten. We are all still scared of what could possibly lurk out there. I am proud to know that I can still feel the same pain as everyone else felt it that same day. It reminds me of who I am. An American.