Wednesday, September 11, 2013

12 years since the world stopped turning

“Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day…” It is “a date which will live in infamy” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated about the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. It fits here too. 
We will not forget where we were the moment we heard the dreadful news that our country was under direct terrorist attack. We watched the heart-breaking footage that looked more like scenes from a movie than actual events unfolding in our nation eleven years ago today.

It was a Tuesday like today and I was a fifteen-year-old sophomore. Ironically, I was sitting in an American Government class when I found out. One minute we were discussing federal policies and department checks and balances and in the other someone was at the door to inform our teacher of the attacks. His face was serious as he left the room and then came back in rolling a TV cart.

flickr/creative commons - Photo by Vladimire Osherov
We watched as the towers burned, people fled the streets and the buildings collapsed. We heard the dismay of the newscasters reporting the horrific occurrences. We learned of the attack on the Pentagon and the crashed hijacked plane in Pennsylvania, which was likely headed for the White House or Capitol building. We witnessed it from our small Louisiana town. I remember feeling terror as I watched these great cities I wished to visit one day seemingly crumble in panic. It was sad and very strange to me.
When you hear of attacks in the Middle East and beyond on our U.S. troops, there's a distant feeling from it all, but it's just as horrifying over there if not more. Then, we witnessed it on our own soil and that terror we faced on 9/11 is what I realized our soldiers face each day.

I know I cannot begin to understand what the people in New York City and D.C. were feeling, but I know it must have been a hopelessness and anxiety as to what would happen next and how we could combat more attacks.

I do know that in the days afterward, I witnessed the amazing sight of our nation pulling together. I had never seen anything like it in my lifetime.

flickr/creative commons - Photo by Dave (DSWfromLI)
I believe unity is the soul of a nation—our true strength. Terrorists have unity to plot and carry out acts of terrorism, so the American people as the “United” States can pull together and become more powerful than our enemies. I felt patriotism surge though my veins and seeing the American flag came to mean much more to my fellow Americans and I on that day.

Since 9/11, I know I’ve been more cautious and aware of the dangers in the world. I know it’s easy to relax inside our “American” bubbles, but we must keep fresh in our minds that terrorism is the act of evoking terror into the hearts of a people. We must turn that fear into perseverance and then into a renewed commitment to our nation. I feel we’re so busy fighting a multitude of internal battles that terrorists can just sit back and watch us create self-inflicted wounds.

We need to remember what unity means and that the “United States” are to be united and have each other’s back in a fight. That’s what unconsciously happened after 9/11. No nation will ever be perfect, but its patriotism and loyalty keep it going no matter what. Terrorists are still as active today as they were twelve years ago and our military still combats violence directly in foreign lands. We need to constantly remember them in our prayers as well as our government leaders and the families of those who lost their lives on that tragic day that this country must never forget.

God Bless the USA

Where were you on 9/11? What were your thoughts about it then and what are they now? I’d love to hear your story on this 12th anniversary of that tragic day.

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