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Thank you.

“Wake up sweet heart,” announced a young girl’s mother. Sleepily, she stumbled out of bed and headed for the shower to begin getting ready for the long day of school she had ahead of her. She couldn’t help but complain to her mom about how hard her mornings were.

She got out of the shower and wandered out into her kitchen, still half asleep. There she was greeted by her usually cheerful mother, who now had a look of disgust plastered on her face. “Mom?” questioned the little girl as she sat down at the breakfast bar awaiting her fresh homemade breakfast. Instead of saying something, all her mother replied with was an unfocused gaze at the TV, and a drop of her breakfast plate in front of her. Her favorite colorful plastic lion king plate wobbled as in hit the counter in front of her, almost making her eggs and toast fall off. Obviously her mother was preoccupied. With still no reply from her mom, she realized that her focus was on that of the small rotating TV that hung from the cabinets above.

The young girl now realized that this must be a serious matter, by the expression on her mom’s face that didn’t seem to go away. She sat in her chair, eating her breakfast and awaiting a response from her mother. Eventually her mom had seen enough of what was on the TV, so she turned it around and into the view of her youngest child. The look on the young girls face was now the same as that of her mother’s; the only difference was the fact that the girl, Ashley, did not comprehend what past events led up to what was happening on the TV screen right before her. The only things Ashley saw were two huge towers burning and crumbling to the ground. There was not a calm person in sight. Ashley and her mother could hear the fear in the news reporter’s voice, and the screaming of terrified people in the background as the news reporter attempted to calmly report the current events.

Ashley now understood the reason behind the look that was still on her mother’s face. This look was a look of disgust and disappointment in the actions of people. Her mother tried to explain the events that had just happened, but it did no good. Eight year old Ashley just simply couldn’t understand why such a thing would be done to innocent people. She was glued to the TV, as was her mom. Then, Ashley’s mom noticed the time, and that Ashley was about to be late for school. She hurried her out the door, still in utter shock at what a terrible thing had just occurred.

As Ashley sat in her tiny imitation wood desk, she couldn’t help but listen to the reactions of the other third grade students. Yet with all the conversations, she was alone in her thoughts; pondering what would have motivated such behavior.

A few years later the Ashley lay in bed with her mom watching TV. Suddenly it was announced over the television, “September 11th, Inside Ground Zero.” Ashley was then flashed back to the terrible memories of that day. She couldn’t help but continue watching, hoping she would finally be able understand what really happened that morning when she was in the shower. Ashley was disgusted when she learned the reasons why America was attacked on that day. The part that affected her the most was the raw video taken on that day, September 11, 2001, of people jumping out of the towers in hopes of just making it out, even though it was almost guaranteed they wouldn’t make it out alive.

This day evolved into a war; that same war has been going on for seven years, and is still going on today. Many soldiers, young and old, have dedicated their lives to fighting in this war-and other wars alike. These soldiers did not only go out and physically fight for Americans, but they fought for our safety and protection so that we are able to live our normal lives comfortably.

Ashley tries not to complain anymore when she thinks she is having a bad morning, because she now realizes what bad morning actually is. A true bad morning is not having to wake up to go to school early; a true bad morning is a day like that of September 11, 2001, when the twin towers were struck by planes full of innocent people, which had unfortunately been hijacked by terrorists. Now she thinks of the soldiers who are fighting and have fought, who are risking and have risked their lives every day in order to protect America, and all of the diverse people that live here.

The service and sacrifice of soldiers from past and present teach our youth many things. I believe the major thing they teach to us is to be grateful for the things we have. Ashley used to complain about going to school, but now she realizes that she should just be grateful she can even go to school. They may not stress this message themselves, but it is insinuated by their actions. They risk everything they have; they live and work in terrible and scary environments, and they do it all to protect us. Thank you.



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