Isn’t it amazing that tragedy can bring everyone together? Everyone can remember exactly where they were on the morning of September 11th, 2001. Where were you? It was a crystal-clear day, sun shining, not a cloud in the sky. I was in the third grade, sitting in religion class when I noticed our teacher come into the room with tears in her eyes. I wanted to run up to her and ask her what was wrong. She then told our class that a terrorist attack had happened in New York City. She told us three planes had been hijacked and two out of the three planes had hit the tallest buildings in New York City- The World Trade Centers.
None of us knew how to take that news into the full reality because we were so young. I remember the next thing I knew, I was being picked up by my parents from school and being hugged extra tight by the adults in my life. I asked my family members why we were being picked up from school here, in Ohio, when the attack had happened in New York City. My family explained that everyone in the world was afraid that more attacks would occur. That was when fear really sunk into my heart. I remember watching the coverage of the attacks on the news all throughout the rest of the day. When I heard a fourth plane was supposed to be coming towards Cleveland Ohio, but it was diverted to PA, I was honestly afraid to look up in the sky, because every time I did, I was afraid I would see or hear another plane crash. Everyone was afraid of another attack for a long while after that.
The most remarkable thing about the September 11th tragedy was the fact that so many people banded together to help save those who were trapped inside the buildings and under the rubble of the buildings. Everyone was there for one another, risking everything to save their fellow man and to lend a helping hand anywhere they could. I keep thinking as the 16th anniversary is here, we need to be thankful to God that we were able to come together as a nation and unite as one people and as one family in the face of the biggest tragedies our country had ever faced. It reminds me to be thankful for the people who keep our country safe every day.
Maybe God allowed us to experience that day in order to strengthen our nation, our desire for safety and for freedom and to have us support each other. Maybe He also let us experience that dark day in order to have the courage that we as a nation never thought we would have or could have, before. Even in the midst of it, God was there with us. He was there in the airplanes with the heroes who tried their best to save everyone when the planes they were in, hit the buildings. He was there when the buildings came crashing down around everyone. He was there when so many lost their lives, whether it was the heroes trying to save lives of others, or the victims who had no choice but to jump out of the windows to their deaths.
He was there, when the families of everyone we lost got the news that so many people they loved wouldn’t be returning home that night. He was there for us and with us when fear was in each and every American’s heart. Through this tragedy He taught us to trust in Him above all, and to trust in each other again. Look how many people banded together to help others and put their lives at risk without a second thought. It struck fear into every one of us, but it also gave people a ferocious courage that can never be extinguished.
I thank God for the first responders of that day. I pray that there is never another attack like the day of September 11th, 2001. I am thankful to everyone in our military who have fought and those who are fighting, and for those who will fight for the safety of our country and our freedom. I also thank God that we live in a nation that is free. It is hard to imagine that people in other countries despise our nation, because of that freedom. The fact that people seek to destroy this country is something that baffles me.
The memories of September 11th will forever live on in our lives, but we can also remember the courage that is deep inside of every American. We can remember that we came together and united as one nation under God. We can remember that we aa a nation, rose above that tragedy. We all rose to the challenge of helping others, in any way we could think of. We can look back with fond memories of those we lost, while cherishing the ones we still have with us.
We can tell our children about that day, that no matter how awful it was. We can tell them that so many people chased fear away and put their lives on the line for their fellow man. We can look back and remember that we are a stronger nation because of this tragedy. We realize that we are forever changed because of September 11th. As we look back on this day in history, we remember all who made the ultimate sacrifice for others. We can continue to unite with each other, the way we did on this day 16 years ago. Let’s love one another, work together and stand together as one nation under God. One thing is for certain, we will always be the United States of America. No tragedy can take that name away from us.