9:03 a.m.: "A second plane has hit the tower. America is under attack."
I was in first grade when the planes hit the World Trade Center in 2001. I distinctly remember driving to school with my dad that morning and saying, "why are they still talking about this?" The coverage had been going on for hours at that point, and it was barely
At the time, I didn't think anything of it because, as far as I was concerned, canceling Scooby-Doo to air the news was my biggest problem. However, what my dad said in the car that morning stuck with me for the past 14 years. When I think of events that amplify the capability of human evil, such as 9/11 or the Holocaust, I get chills up my spine in such a way that I'm unsure what move to make next. Do I cry? Do I get angry? Do I live with it?
Nine times out of ten, we choose to live with it. We choose to accept that some people just do very bad things, and there is nothing we can do to fix it. In my opinion, there is a lot we can do to fix it. We can choose to be kind to one another. Tell your family you love them, forgive the boy who broke your heart in high school, and try your very best to be a good person each and every day. I choose to believe most people are good, and if more of us showed it, we wouldn't have to wait for the next disaster to truly feel like the United States of America.
September 11, 2001, is a day that tragedy struck our great nation, a day we lost nearly 3,000 lives, and a day that will forever live in infamy. As Americans, patriotic or not, 9/11 will never be forgotten and the lives lost will never be overlooked.
Think about it: You probably remember exactly what you were doing when the planes hit the towers. You remember precisely what kind of bagel you were eating, what your morning coffee smelled like, and what your family said to you when they explained what was going on. When was the last time we felt more united as a nation? When was the last time you felt more of an urge to go hug your neighbor, whose husband was a firefighter?
I encourage us, the American people, to feel that love for one another more often than when tragedy hits. I am the first to admit -- I do not get along with everyone. Not even a little. However, do people have to die in order for us to feel a little compassion for one another? Smile at someone today; you never know when you'll see them again.