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10 Years Later: September 11th Remembered

I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t remember where they were and what they were doing when the news broke that our beloved USA was under terrorist attack.  It still seems so surreal.

I was crossing through a building on campus (I had gone back to school for my Associate’s Degree) when I noticed a small group of people gathered in front of the television in the lobby.  My eyes widened in shock as I read the teletext caption running at the bottom of the screen:  “Plane crashes into Twin Tower…”  At this point, it was suspected that the crash had been a terrible accident; that is until within minutes all who were watching saw a second plane crash into the other tower on live television.  There was an eerie silence in the room.

I continued on to my next class, horrified by what I had just seen.  The next thing I heard was another student calling over to a friend in a goofy tone, “Dude, did you hear? We’re under attack!”  I thought to myself, “Did we just see the SAME thing?  How on earth is that even REMOTELY funny?!? And why on earth would you go spreading rumors just moments after such an event that still has our own government leaders unsure?!”

In light of the event, class was dismissed early.  I remember driving home in a mental fog.  News of the tragedy was on every radio station.  Suddenly, I began to cry.  All I could think of was my family, particularly, my baby girl who wasn’t even 2 years old at the time.  Three thousand + people were estimated to have perished…several of whom had jumped from the burning buildings as there was clearly little to no hope they would be saved.  A flood of grief washed over me.  Tears streamed down my face until I broke down into a full sob, imagining those who were trapped, the people who died in the planes, and worst of all, the families of ALL OF THEM who were still unsure if their loved ones were dead or alive.  I couldn’t help but think of my baby waiting for me at home.  My precious, innocent, little child.  What if we were living in NY and I had met the same fate and she was left without a mother?  What if we had BOTH been victims of the insanity that drove those terrorists to take over those planes, never being given the opportunity to say goodbye to our friends or family.  THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE AND COUNTING had suffered this travesty, and this was just the beginning.  Firemen and police were on the scene within minutes doing everything they could to save those trapped beneath the rubble, many of whom ended up meeting their own fate.

News soon came of another attack on the Pentagon and a third plane crash in Pennsylvania.  It was insane!  Every airport, train station, and bus terminal was on alert.  There was no question WHO was to blame.  Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda  proudly claimed responsibility for the demolition on our soil.  Despite the sadness and fear that gripped us, one thing was certain:  retaliation would be harsh and swift.

The question that continued ringing through my head was WHY?  How was it possible for ANYONE to hate others THIS MUCH???  It still makes no sense to me.  How many soldiers have we lost SINCE then?  Whether you are FOR or AGAINST this war, the fact remains that this battle has been going on since before my generation was born and war was imminent, be it on our land or theirs.  Personally, I prefer THEIRS.  The thought of a mine field in my own back yard not only doesn’t appeal to me, but  is something so many of us are completely unfamiliar with – PERIOD.  The middle eastern countries have been fighting with one another forever: SAD, but TRUE.

I am eternally grateful to our brave soldiers who continue to fight for our freedom and protect our land, even give their lives.  This kind of selflessness is paramount to that of Mother Teresa, Gandhi, even Christ Himself.  May we always remember these righteous people, their sacrifice for peace and salvation, and the loss of the brave victims of 9/11. Remember the fallen heroes who gave their lives and left behind their own families to save others.  Remember to get down on your knees and give thanks for all that we have because one very important thing to remember above all else is that FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.

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