I was only in 6th grade at the time, little did I know that this day, 9/11 would be a day to change the world. I had always loved numbers, the thought of being 9/11 was just another date but that morning I clearly remember sitting in the classroom how cool it would be to have a day to honor the emergency responders in our country. Little did I know, this idea would come about but mournfully, not cheerfully.
Around 9:00, one of the deans entered the room and whispered something to my teachers ear. My classmates and I made no thought of it, our teacher’s expression remained the same. I went about the day not knowing what was happening in New York City, it was just another school day. My parents decided to pick me up from school that day, which was odd considering I take the bus home most days. When we arrived home and I was exiting the car, my mom mentioned to me that the Twin Towers were down, that they were struck by airplanes. I laughed when she mentioned this and said it couldn’t have been THE twin towers it had to be something somewhere else or she had watched a movie. My mom wasn’t laughing and she said no I saw it on the news. The smile from my face vanished, I walked inside and turned on the news. The first image I saw were the twin towers burning, I couldn’t believe what was happening. I didn’t know why it happened, I didn’t know who had done it, I didn’t even know if it was a terrorist attack. The only thought in my head was, how are we going to get through this. I was not prepared for the response America had in handling this situation.
As day turned to night I stayed glued to the television watching the news of what has happened and hearing speculations on what has happened. I remember the news showing a scene outside the white house, people lighting candles, praying for the victims of this attack. Praying for strangers, praying for people they did not know, soothing those that had lost their loved ones. This nation, came together like a family, we were all bonded by this one tragedy.
Bin Laden, the man responsible for this attack on our great country, thought that by bringing down the Twin Towers, the pentagon, and possibly the white house which was averted by the heroes on Flight 93, that he could bring America to its knees. He was sorely wrong. America in spirit rose, patriotism and compassion was displayed like never seen before. Strangers helping strangers, strangers comforting strangers, strangers giving their lives to save strangers.
For the people that have survived and lived through 9/11/01, for those that were old enough to remember what has happened, it will never be gone from our memories.
I ask you now, for those who were old enough, for those who had witnessed such a tragedy, are you living life with compassion that people of this great nation once displayed? Are these petty differences we as a human race have, worth fighting over? Have you learned of the potential for good of mankind and have you learned to live life as we displayed in the after hours of 9/11?
9/11 is a day of remembrance but it is also a historical event that should shape how we live for the rest of our days. It is not enough to take one day out of the year to honor it, we should always live with the thought of the aftermath of 9/11, how compassion triumphed hatred, how we bonded and rose as a nation.