Saturday, September 11, 2010
Here we are once again remembering that tragic day 9 years ago. I can't help but think about how much has changed. Not just in terms of what our country is going through but in terms of myself. I was 19 on 9/11/01 and I'll never forget that morning.
I was working the overnight shift at the time and had worked all night on 9/10. I went out to breakfast that morning and had just started to fall asleep when I was awoken by my mother. "A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center!".
I wasn't sure what to make of it at first so I just closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep. A few minutes later my mother burst into the room again, "another plane just crashed again America is under attack!". Needless to say that was the end of my trying to get any sleep that day.
As the tragedy continued to unfold I spent most of the rest of that day just like most everybody else, glued to the news. I remember the mix of emotions racing through me that day. Sadness, anger, helplessness, etc. Yet there are other things I remember from 9/11 that are inspiring.
I remember seeing the firefighters, police, and everyday average people doing all they could to help anyone they could. I remember that American heroes on United 93 made the decision to fight back and denied the terrorists another successful attack.
Then there's perhaps the thing that mattered most about that day. On that day and in the weeks and even months ahead we saw true unity in America. Left and right politics didn't matter. Liberal, Conservative, whatever the case, there was that brief moment where politics was pushed aside as we saw each other only as Americans.
The united attitude of the country was on a level I hadn't seen before 9/11 and haven't seen since. It was telling of the generosity and compassion that you see in America. Between the millions and millions of dollars raised to help the families of victims, to the surge in people enrolling in our military.
Those who didn't directly lose family members or friends in the attacks felt as if they had. The 9/11 victims families became our families, their sorrow was felt in each of our hearts. That is the America our soldiers fight to protect.
As Americans we often take much of what we have for granted. The lifestyle we have for so long known tends to make us forget that we are not in fact invincible. As we take this time to remember the victims and heroes of 9/11 we must also take a moment to think of our soldiers who continue to be heroes and victims in the ongoing struggle we've come to call "The War On Terror".
The years seem to go by faster and faster. It's hard to believe that next year will be a full decade since the attacks. I've grown and learned so much since then, I suspect we all have. Yet as life goes on, we must never forget why we take time to remember this day. We will never forget why we take a minute and pause when we notice the time on the clock reads 9:11. I had to pause a minute before I posted this because I was a little spooked.
By complete chance I finished this post at 9:11.