September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Story: I attend a State University in Maryland, so I was getting dressed and ready for class with the news on. I saw that one of the towers was on fire. I thought it was an accident. Then I watched the live coverage of the second plane hitting the other tower. Then I knew it wasn't an accident. I forgot about getting out to my class and just sat in my dorm room alone and watched helplessly as the two towers fell. It was so horrifyingly unreal. My friend from downstairs came up sobbing hysterically saying that we were going to war and soon the attackers would drop a nuclear bomb. It was hard to stay calm. I couldn't believe this was happening, and I didn't know what would happen next. Another friend came over in tears. Then, we just sat on the couch holding each other and sobbing for all those people who lost their lives or their loved ones. And then, the three of us said the Lord's Prayer. I've never shared my faith with my friends the way I did that day. It was awkward at first, and then comforting.
Classes were cancelled, people were too stunned to even notice anyway. In the dining hall, there were T.V.s wired in every corner turned to the news. Everyone was speaking in whispers and the mood was incredibly somber. I remember it being a gorgeous cloudless September day, but the feeling you got walking around campus that day was dark and gray.

Life Changed: I know I don't live in NY or DC. But I've lived in MD all my life, and I've visited both cities numerous times. I have family and friends from New Jersey and a couple work in NY. Luckily they weren't in any danger. However, regardless of where I'm from, I still can feel for my fellow citizens and I worry about this country as well. We have many other countries who don't like us. We need to reach an understanding with these countries, instead of start a war that will put us in a dangerous situation to be attacked again as well as take the lives of our soldiers.
I guess my life has changed in the fact that I'm more aware and worried about the rest of the world then my own problems in my own little world. Actually, I hope I keep in mind the fact that there are bigger problems in this world than my personal problems and take that with me always.

Should be remembered: I think the thing about Sept. 11th that should be remembered is Sept. 12th. That was the day that the sun rose again and we all awoke with a new purpose, not as individuals, but as a nation. We donated blood, wrote letters, held memorial services, called our loved ones,and reevaluated our lives. Some of us had the privilege and honor to help overcome the tragedy first hand, to help rebuild America, and to help rebuild our confidence in the true heroes of our country.
We should also remember the way we feel now when we see our flag and hear our National Anthem as well as other patriotic songs. This renewed sense of nationality should be with us always so we remember how we all came together, and how we will continue to come together. I know that personally, I will never be able to listen to the song "America the Beautiful" without tears coming to my eyes.

Flag: I've always had a flag flying outside my front door, but I definitely look at it in a different light. I look at it and see it as the symbol that has been present at all of our triumphs and tribulations as a country. The statue of the flag being staked at Iwo Jima, the image of the flag flying over the site of the former Towers: these are the images that will always be sybolically linked with the flag outside my door.
However, one word of caution: The symbol of our flag and the patriotism that comes with it should be a celebration of our country, and not a humiliation of every other country in this world. Every country has it's positive and negative characteristics, including the USA. We should look upon our country with love and pride, but not look upon other countries with hatred. For if we did that, wouldn't we be as low as those who flew those planes into the Towers and into the Pentagon? It's easy to hate, it's harder to forgive. Let the flag be a symbol for hope and confidence in our country and not a battle cry for the destruction of other countries.


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