“You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy.” – Colin Powell
On September 11, 2001, Americans’ lives changed forever. For me, it was my first day of high school. I should have been making friends, learning my class schedule, and being a normal teenager enjoying their first day of high school. Little did I know when I walked into my second period religion class, that would all change.
At 8:46am, just minutes before second period was to start, America was under attack. It’s true, you will always remember where you were when something major like that happens. I was sitting in Gloucester Catholic‘s Annex when our principal came on the PA and told everyone what had happened. Everyone was in shock, and the television was immediately turned on. For once, we were witnessing history instead of learning about it.
When we got to third period (algebra for me), we opened our textbooks and the picture on the first page was of the World Trade Center. In a matter of minutes, our brand new textbooks were already out of date. After that,came environmental earth science. We weren’t allowed to watch the news this time around. Our teacher’s son was in the WTC that day and she couldn’t get a hold of him. This was becoming real. I now knew someone who was affected. We learned the next day her son was safe.
Since GC is located right across from the Philadelphia Naval Yard, and no one knew if more attacks were planned, we were dismissed at noon. Once I got home, that’s when I learned about the Pentagon being hit and the plane going down in PA. This is also when I learned my uncle (who works in DC) was near the Pentagon when the plane hit and no one could get a hold of him. Luckily, we learned he was okay later that night.
For me, once I got home I was scared to death and afraid. My parents were telling me we would be safe, especially since we live near the National Guard. Well, in my head that made me think prime target, we’re next to go. Seeing all the barricades the National Guard put up wasn’t reassuring to me.
It’s weird now. Before, whenever history making events occurred, I was never alive or too young to remember. I would have to learn about it in school or read books about a certain time period. I was now old enough to witness (and remember) history being made.
With the years that have passed, there’s not a day that goes by where I can’t and don’t think about this tragedy. From family members to first responders, everyone I know who was involved is okay. Even after killing bin laden, this war we are fighting has gone on too long. I get we are still avenging the deaths of all the Americans who died, but when do we say enough is enough?