Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 09-11-01

I was just a few weeks into my first semester in college. My whole family had moved to Florida just a couple of months after my high school graduation and my dad and I started college at the same time. I remember walking home after my last morning class. It was Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I walked into the apartment that I lived in with my parent's and brother. My mom sat on the sofa staring at the TV. "You won't believe what just happened," she said. "A plane just flew into a building in New York." I remember asking her if she knew why. Terrorism never crossed my mind. I just imagined that something had gone wrong with the pilot or the plane. We sat there, together, watching live news coverage when we saw a plane fly into a tower. "Mom, I don't think that was a replay." "Sure, it was. It didn't happen twice." But it did. It was more than we could imagine. We sat there in stunned silence as mayhem and madness erupted on our TV screen. 

I'm sure the majority of you have a memory of that day similar to my own. I remember being a kid and hearing adults say things like, "I remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard JFK was assassinated." We won't forget 09-11-01. We will forever remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard or saw the terrible acts of terrorism on our country that day. So many people lost their lives. Children lost their fathers and mothers. Wives lost their husbands. Husbands lost their wives. Parents lost their children.  We learned the true definition of a hero, whether it be a group of people on a plane who took matters into their own hands or the men and women who risked their lives in the hope of saving others. 

I can't remember a time in my short life when people were more patriotic, more kind, more "spiritual." We said the Pledge a little louder and stood a little straighter whenever the "Star Spangled Banner" was played or sung. We had been sucker punched but we were never more proud to be Americans. Toby Keith summed up how we felt best (in my opinion) with his song "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American):

Thank you to the men and women of the military forces of the USA. Thank you for serving your country, ensuring our safety and freedom, and for the sacrifices that not only you make but the sacrifice your family makes. I am forever grateful! 

911-01...We Will Remember

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