Those words have scarcely been used to describe events throughout the history of our country; of our world. The last formidable event before 9/11 that truly required those words was (in my own opinion) the devastation that occurred at Pearl Harbor. The United States had not seen such devastation as it saw on 9/11 in nearly six decades. Six decades since someone had maliciously attacked our country on such a powerful level. People don’t forget where they were. They remember the exact moment. What they saw. What they heard. Many schools banned teachers from showing video footage. They did it anyway. They wanted to show the truth, to help students to understand, to show how the world was changing directly before their eyes. And it was changing. Not just in the USA but all over the world. Not just in the lives of those who lost a family member or friend; but in the lives of those who were persecuted and despised from then on. Fear took hold in many people. Anger took hold in others. And sadness reached far and wide. Through varying emotions in every corner of our country, this tragedy, this deliberate end of so many lives brought us together in an unspeakable way. The bond of knowing that we were all in this together unified our country. And it’s in those moments that political parties, religious beliefs, and personal choices can’t and don’t matter because every single person was shaken and bruised to the very core. Our country was bruised to it’s very core. And the world as we knew it, changed forever.
7th grade home-ec. That’s where I was sitting. I’ll never forget that day. I didn’t fully understand at first. It’s hard to comprehend that something so big and terrifying could happen. Schools closed early and sent us home to our parents to explain in depth what had happened. I didn’t sleep well that night. I would doubt that anyone did. We all worried it wasn’t over. We prayed for every soul effected. We hoped for swift retaliation. It didn’t come as swiftly as we’d imagined.
10 years later. Nearly 10 years, until the man behind the attacks was dead. For some it brought peace, for others it didn’t bring the closure they’d expected. At first I was happy and then I felt rather numb about it. Until today. Today my emotions have been far stronger than any time in the last 10 years. Possibly because I understand it all better now. Today it all felt fresh. And even though bin Laden is gone, the wounds are not healed. His death guaranteed no safety for us. As we progress throughout the day, my heart is on high alert, still slightly afraid that another attack may come on a day of mass mourning around our country. It’s definitely still fresh.
This was the first anniversary that I went back and watched the footage and I had chills watching it. I felt nauseous as I watched footage of the towers collapsing, and I understand now, why on every other anniversary I have avoided watching footage of this horrible day. It’s too difficult. It still has a profound emotional and physical effect on me. And it all compounds on to the emotions I already have due to devastation in our own area from flooding. Something that once again brings a group of people together, who share a similar pain; and a desire for things to be better.
As a country we did our best to come together and make it through. Unfortunately fear lead us to persecute those of differing religions, especially Muslims or those of middle eastern descent. I’d like to believe that in 10 years, we’ve gotten better, but I truly question whether or not we have. Some blogs today have been about throwing around blame. Do you live in America? It’s not the day for that. It’s never a day for that. In order to bring change, to make a difference, we have to band together. We must band together. Today we must remember our similarities, forget our differences, and come together to remember the heroes, mourn the lost, and continue to rebuild together.
“Because I’m proud to be an American WHERE AT LEAST I KNOW I’M FREE. And I WON’T FORGET the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I’ll gladly STAND UP NEXT TO YOU, and defend her still today. Cause their ain’t no doubt, I LOVE THIS LAND. GOD BLESS THE USA!”
-Love and God Bless,