Friday, September 10, 2010

September 11th to me

 "These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve." -President George W. Bush

It was a couple weeks into my freshman year of high school and the day started like any other day.  Wake up.  Get ready.  Eat breakfast.  My mom drove me to school and I met up with some friends in the courtyard to chit chat before classes. 

My first class of the day was Pre-Calculus with one of my favorite teachers.  I remember there being a buzz about the school about a plane hitting a building in New York, but I had heard this had happened at the Empire State Building so I didn't think it was a big deal.  We put the TV on until the bell rang to watch what was going on and learned that the United States were under a terrorist attack.  While we all would have rather watched the historical event happening before out eyes, our teacher made us turn off the TV.  There might have been a quiz or something, but I didn't think too much of it.  The rest of class went on like normal and then the bell rang for us to go to our second period.

The second class of the day was Starlettes, the junior varsity dance team I was on with a bunch of my friends.  As I walked to the dance gym there was more tension in the air and people were talking about what had happened.  Buildings had fallen while I was in Pre-Cal and I found out the Pentagon had been hit as well as another plane crash in Pennsylvania.  I was so scared.  I was distraught.  One of my best friend's dad was in NYC at the time, but she eventually found out that he was in a subway tunnel and wasn't in imminent danger. 

I'm not sure why I was so upset.  I know I was scared because Austin is the capital and the president's former home while he was governor, and perhaps I thought there would be a terrorist attack here.  I've always been an emotional person so I was feeling sympathetic to those who had lost a loved one.  There was such an enormous loss of life.  I don't think the teachers even knew how to deal with the situation.  School wasn't closed and we finished out the day, just to return the next day.  Everyone was very somber, very serious. 

There was a common patriotic thread that had connected everyone that day, and it could be felt around the country.  Have you ever seen so many American flags so proudly displayed everywhere you went?  Even today we as a country are more patriotic than we had been before.

Reflecting back on September 11, 2001, I am so saddened by the lives lost at the hands of extremists, and I hope that as we approach the anniversary Americans can set aside their differences and once again remember the strength of our country as a whole. 

"United we stand, divided we fall." -Aesop

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