It was ten years ago today. I was only seven years old but I still remember exactly where I was when I received the news of the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center and plane that went down in Pennsylvania. I was homeschooled and my three younger sisters and I were sitting at the table learning Spanish. We were learning colors and the color Verde was on the agenda. Suddenly the phone rang and my mom answered the phone. Just by the look on her face I knew something terrible had happened. She sat down and told us exactly what had happened. It was a hard thing to process for my 7 year old brain but I slowly took it all in. Then we turned on the radio and listened to the surprise, panic, and disbelief that was heard all across the nation. Though I understood this was pretty deep stuff we were talking about, I wasn't too worried about it. My small world wasn't affected, and every day life went on. That afternoon I went to a friend's house with a bunch of girls my age and it seemed like we were all on the same page. We prayed for the victim’s families, but we played and had fun the rest of the day.
What really had happened didn't sink in with me until the evening of the September 11. Because my family didn't have television, we went to a friends house to watch footage of the attack. I sat there, awed by what had happened. An anger rose in me. Who could do such a thing? Then I saw raw film of individuals jumping from high stories of the World Trade Center, choosing that route of death rather than being burned alive. My parents told me to look away, but I couldn't. No, not possible. How could I?
It was bedtime that night when my anger turned quickly to fear. I now knew that the victims had not had a choice and they had been killed. It was possible to happen to me too. How could I sleep knowing that at any moment a plane could come crashing into my house? Of course logic was not coming quickly to my young mind, so I was terrified. I fell asleep crying that night, and for several nights after that I had trouble falling asleep.
I now look back at that day which deeply affected my life. It was one of those days that many individuals, because of their fear and pain, want to forget. But how can we forget those who died? How can we forget those who continue to fight for our country? How can we forget the deep sacrifices that have been made for us?
Don't give up America. Don't put the bad times behind you. Don't try to block out what has happened. Stand up for what is right. Support the fight for freedom. Let us come together as a nation and grow stronger. Yes, it has been ten long years, but let us NEVER forget.