September 11th 2001. I was still in middle school at the time. The day started rather slow but soon everything turned upside down. A teacher run into the classroom, tears in her eyes. Something was wrong, terribly wrong. The TV was turned on and soon we learned about the tragedy. One of the World Trade Centers was hit by a plane. We watched in terror as journalists and just people tried to explain what was going on. Unforgettable images of the tower collapsing, of the plane hitting the second tower, of people dying in front of our eyes. For me it was all like a nightmare that I could not understand. I will never forget the people as they cried and talked about what had just happened. Time froze in the classroom. Everyone was transfixed on the TV. We were all speechless. This is something an 11 year boy can never forget.
In the days, weeks and months that followed many things that I could not understand were happening. I was far away from politics or any kind of international relations. All I knew is that what had happened was horrible. I was ready to believe whoever and find someone responsible. Anyone. Anyone that I could blame for the horror of my childhood, for the tragedy of the nation and each and everyone.
All of a sudden we were going to war. The bad guys were blamed. Someone was deemed responsible. The nation grew closer than ever. New York is undoubtfully one of the main cities of our county. Almost everyone had someone to fear for, be it their parent, their child, a friend or even just a friend of a friend.
In the last 10 years our nation changed quite a bit in a lot of different aspects. We have survived the economic downfall, we now have an African American president, but the tragedy of 9/11 has a special place in our hearts. It has connected us as a nation. We were all transfixed in front of our TVs, worrying for those in danger, hoping that everything will just go back to normal. But one cannot turn back the time. We had face the consequences.
Now that I am older, I am more aware of the situation. Was it right to go to war? I don’t know. I still don’t see any real hard evidence that shows who is really to blame. Besides, the a whole country cannot be responsible for what had happened to us. Nevertheless, our men are out there, fighting, getting hurt and even dying. We are putting all our efforts on trying to punish the one we think is to blame. But is this really the best solution? Wouldn’t it be better to try to move forward? To learn for the future so that we might be able to prevent such a catastrophe? These are all rhetorical questions. One can argue for hours about them and still not reach a conclusion.
In the anniversary of the tragedy, I believe what really is important is remembering the ones we have lost, remembering this tragedy and telling our kids about it. Keeping the memory alive is our goal. This is what 9.11.2011 is all about for me.
Joe Daniels. Commemorating 9/11/11. National September 11 Memorial Museam. 2011. http://www.911memorial.org/commemorating-91111 09.14.2011