September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document
Story: On September the eleventh of 2001, I woke up to walk my dog, to take a shower, and to trudge off to school, like so many other American teenagers. I thought nothing of our nation's saftey, or of the hate that is projected towards us by some countries of the world. I was in relative bliss, tucked away in my corner of the world, taking my freedoms for granted when my dad told me to come look at the television.
At first I thought that there had been some sort of freak accident. I didn't realize the magnitude of the impact; the impact of that first plane that shattered the lives of so many, and the psyches of so many more. As we stood in the room trying to comprehend what was going on, the second plane collided with the other tower. Then I was scared. I felt vulnerable. What was going on? We listened to the radio on the drive to school. We heard that all of the airports were being closed, the air force was taking over the skies, the planes were hijacked, rescuers were going in....
In class, we were glued to the TV as well. We saw the towers fall, and the frantic people fleeing ground zero. They reminded me of pictures of Mount St. Helens with ash billowing down and filling the streets. No one knew what to say. The teachers were silent. Nothing like this had ever happened before.
Should be remembered: In my opinion, the single most important thing that should be remembered is the unwaivering courage of the American people. We should remember those who lingered in the streets to help usher the survivors away from the danger, the firefighters, paramedics, and police officers that went above and beyond the call of duty to protect others, and those on the planes who fought back and tried to stop these horrific tragedies from happening.
I hope that Americans have learned that there is a world outside of our own, and that many cultures believe America in some respects is not as wonderful we sometimes think. We need to understand that we can improve as a nation, and in turn act as a model for others. War is not an acceptable answer to acts like this. Returning violence with violence only breeds more violence. And ultimate patriotism is not an unquestioning faith in our leaders. We are a democracy. We are trying to protect a democracy. A democracy is a system where we the people of this country decide set our own course. We need to think for ourselves, and not hand over our power to a select few in Washington.
Flag:No I did not fly a flag. My feelings have not changed very much. Although it is important to show national pride, that is one of the very things that angers other nations; the misinterpreted pride that comes out as "AMERICA RULES".