Thursday, September 10, 2009


September 11, 2001 - New York

I was 10 years old living in Carson, CA. It was really early in the morning and I was getting up to get ready for school. I remember my mom's cell phone was ringing like crazy, then the house phone started to ring non-stop. She had just gotten home from work a couple of hours earlier and after maybe 30 mins of all the phones ringing, she finally picked up her cell and then told me to turn on the t.v. I remember her walking to the bedroom closet and shuffling through some things and then I recognized the sound of clips being snapped into some guns she owned. Mom said I wasn't going to school and she grabbed my almost 19 month old sister from where she was sleeping and we watched the Twin Towers burning on t.v.

My mom tried frantically to call and text her friends in New York that lived and worked in that area. Only to get a message -busy connections. I am sure most parents would've discouraged their children to leave the room as they watched the horrific scene on t.v., but that wasn't my mother. I remember being stunned by the live coverage of the attacks in New York. I remember vividly the images of the second plane crashing right into one of the towers. I remember my mom turning it to the Spanish television networks and feeling astounded watching people jump out of windows because of the intense fire. Then the buildings literally came crashing down. All of these scenes were playing out LIVE on t.v. It was bananas! I ended up staying home from school for the rest of the week, my mom found out that weekend she had lost two friends to the attacks and there was a whole new way of security in the United States and I knew then from listening to a bunch of adults talking, the United States would be going to war to avenge these American deaths.

I have since thought about all the things I learned about 9/11 over the past 8 years. I have been taught that the coordinated series of attacks were committed by Al Qaeda terrorists. I have heard of conspiracy theories about 9/11 being an "inside job". I grew up in a time of war because of it in our country and don't know what it would feel like to turn on the t.v. and not see soldiers deploying or know of the daily events and attacks in the Middle East. I have since been to New York and seen the Twin Tower site.

I do not know all the facts about September 11. I know that during that period of American history, I know what fears I felt. I also remember feeling extremely safe as well, knowing my mom would never let anyone attack our family without a fight to the death. I know that many people died unnecessarily because of a difference of opinions. I know it's not that simple and many might say it's a complicated situation, but in the end, when it ends up in war, usually it's because people are too prideful to sit down and compromise on a difference of opinions.

All over the United States, "We will always remember" became the slogan associated with 9/11. I don't think it would be possible for me to forget such shocking images or the way I felt. Because of 9/11, I learned that in this country, my freedoms are protected by brave people who are willing to lay down their own life so I can live mine. I learned that a regular person doing their everyday job can instantly become an uncommon hero - a fireman, a cop, a soldier and a passenger on a flight. I learned how the human spirit will hang on to incredible hope and try by every means to bring home loved ones even when there is no possibility of that happening. I saw a country come together to donate blood by the masses and watched everyday people drive to New York just to see how they could help. I learned that regardless of what a person's political affiliations are, the Presidency in the United States and the tough decisions this Office has to make are in the best interests of the American people and those decisions must be respected.

I will always remember 9/11 because it has influenced much of how I see our country. 9/11 was really the first time I learned to appreciate this great country I live in and just how many good people live in it. I will always remember.