Just like any morning, on September 11 2001, I wokeup and headed to school. Unlike every other day, however, there was an air ofexcitement - it was my eighteenth birthday. I was anticipating a happy, memorableday I would remember. Little did I know that in three hours the United Stateswould face one of the worst tragedies ever to transpire on Americansoil.
I was in health class when my principal came on the intercom. Inoticed a certain tone in his voice, one I hadn't heard before. He explained thatthe World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon had been struck by passengerplanes hijacked by terrorists.
My first response was that of alarm; I wasoverwhelmed with feelings of confusion and disbelief. The situation seemedunreal. I had always been thankful to live in this country, and have the freedomthat so many others in this world can only dream about. The entire disastrousevent was like a bad dream. The destruction our nation faced on September 11,2001 was more than I could ever fathom.
When I returned home thatafternoon, I immediately turned on the news so I could finally see what everyonehad been talking about. As I watched the footage of the World Trade Center beingstruck by a plane, and then another, my heart sank. As I watched people leapingfrom the buildings, I started to cry. It was then that I realized the reality ofthe situation. Thousands of innocent people had died, and millions would beaffected by the repercussions. The terrorists had attacked our symbols ofcapitalism, democracy, financial power, safety and freedom.
The dateSeptember 11th will hold a new meaning for everyone. The day that was supposed tobe so special, turned out to be one of the worst in history. For the people ofour nation, it is a date that will go down in infamy, representing everything wetake for granted. It is also, however, a date that will remind us of unity. Thatmorning, the United States of America was thrown an obstacle, an obstacleintended to tear our proud nation apart. It was meant to evoke fear and causepain. Although it did cause pain, it did not evoke fear.
The act ofterrorism against our country has brought about a realization that we arepenetrable, and that we should always be grateful for what we have. As I look outmy window, I can see our country's flag displayed on virtually every car antennaand in every doorway. To me, our flag has never held so much meaning, nor has thedate September 11th.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.