Innocence Shattered

October 9, 2007
By Amanda Neil, Round Rock, TX

Events enter into our daily lives whether we want them to or not. Sometimes they come in uninvited, unannounced, and throw our lives for a complete loop. Other times we know they’re coming. Eagerly we wait for them to arrive, even if they do not go exactly as planned. Good or bad, they come, continually changing us, or our reaction to them. As a child, I took many things for granted. I didn’t worry about them, because I believed they would always be there: the sun rising each morning, my mom and dad taking care of me, my siblings to play or argue with. I lived in a bubble of innocence, believing the important things would never change and that everyone was good. Unfortunately, like all bubbles, it was going to pop.

I’ll never forget that morning; my older sister and I were putting posters in my room. I had just moved in there a couple weeks ago. Anyway, we had some free time before we had to leave for Texas history; so there we were hanging posters when mom yelled “Christina, Amanda!” We thought she was angry with us, because as children we could tell when mom was angry or just needed us for something. We ran into her room confused. “What’s wrong?” “What did we do wrong?” “We were just hanging posters.” Our responses overlapping each other, but what we saw on the screen silenced anything else we had to say. A plane was flying out of control straight into a building with the newscasters frantically talking in the background. I can’t remember anything they said. Time seemed to eliminate sound. As I watched the plane purposely ram into the tower with black smoke coming out the one next to it, fear reached into my heart, grabbed my bubble of innocence and squeezed it until it shattered. I turned to my mom, seeing my terror reflected in her eyes, asked her. “Mom, does this mean we’ll go to war?”

War. Just the thought of it sent shivers up and down my spine. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Shock was my first reaction, then came confusion and anger. Why? Why did they hate so much? I couldn’t believe, or understand, why someone would want to blow up two buildings. I didn’t want us to go to war, but I understood we couldn’t let what those people did go unpunished. I could see it over and over again in my mind, the plane diving into the second tower on purpose. I knew I would never forget what I saw. Who could?

Even though I lost my bubble of innocence that day, I gained something much more important: the power of prayer. After, we sat in front of TV for a while watching our country change forever, we got up and went to Texas History. When we were all together we bowed our heads as my teacher prayed for our president, our country, our countrymen and women in New York, and our soldiers. I was scared beyond my imagination when I saw what was happening on the TV and realized what it would mean for our country, but the moment my teacher started praying, I felt peace. It was then I knew no matter what happened God was in charge. He was taking care of us.

In conclusion, September 11th changed our country. We lost a lot of innocent people that day. We also went to war, a war that isn’t over yet. Personally, I lost my innocence of the world that day. I experienced fear, anger, and confusion, but what God gave me in return was something I needed more than innocence: the true power of prayer.

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