Oy. Almost two weeks without posting… school is literally eating up my entire life these days. My sorority spent the weekend at a resort to welcome all of our 93 new sisters and bond; it wasn’t until driving home this morning when I noticed a flag attached to the back of someone’s bicycle that I remembered today was September 11th. (Awful, I know.) Of course everyone remembers where they were when it happened. I was in 5th grade art class and our teacher came in and turned on the news. At my elementary school they decided that 5th graders would be allowed to watch but none of the younger students were informed.
My parents work in the stock market and so their office was closed almost immediately for the day. I remember them coming to eat lunch with me in the school cafeteria. After school I think the three of us watched the news together for hours. As a 10 year old, I understood that what happened was very bad, but didn’t really grasp the full picture of what a terrorist attack would mean for the United States and the greater world as a whole. Almost a year later I remember 6th grade band being cancelled as we gathered in the band hall to watch images of the United States entering Afghanistan on television.
Of course the various attacks on that day, and thwarted attacks since, are awful and despicable and we should remember our fellow fallen citizens and the heroes who gave their lives for others. However, as a member of a younger generation who experienced 9/11, there are also some aspects about the aftermath of September 11th which sadden me. Whether you are for or against the wars, the loss of American lives overseas as a direct result of these attacks is saddening. In my opinion, there are also some (obviously ignorant) people who have used these attacks as an excuse to promote hatred of certain people and groups.
I believe that if we let terrorists affect our lives in these ways then they are on the path that they want. My hope for the future is that Americans can take the experience of 9/11 and use it to bond together and strengthen our nation. Although in a way we have all become New Yorkers, the recent political struggles between our President, Congress, and the Senate exemplify how divided we still are in many ways. I believe remembering September 11th should be about honoring those who passed away, and promoting positive patriotic spirit in the future. We must never forget so that it never happens again, but we also must focus on how to redirect our energy into something beneficial, rather than using this day to dwell on hatred, blame, and negativity.