9/11 Will Never Be A Joke To Me

9/11 Will Never Be A Joke To Me

On a day that created so much noise for 16 years, I'll always remember the silence.
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It's been 16 years to the day since the world changed forever. The country erupted into chaos and panic amidst the cries of 3,000 people whose voices were forever silenced. They were parents, siblings, spouses of every race, of every religion, and they were buried under hell fire and rubble. For most people my age, it's a vague memory that most don't remember.

My parents have always joked that I can remember the finite details from something that happened when I was a toddler, yet I forget what I had for breakfast that same day. Unfortunately, this is something that I will never forget.

It started a few days before, I was sitting on my parent's bed, watching my dad pack. This wasn't anything new for me, my dad was always going on business trips. He worked in the stock market, so he was always traveling to New York for business meetings. He was always telling me about the big buildings he would go to. He told me how they were so tall, you could see Canada if the weather was just right. I always wondered how people could make a building so tall and magnificent. He was going to those big buildings again, same as he always did.

The morning of September 11th, 2001, started like any other day did. My sister and I were watching our cartoons, laughing at the flashing colors on the screen. My grandmother loved watching them with us, she became a little kid again when she was around us. The phone rang, and we didn't pay it any mind as she went to go answer it. Suddenly, Yiayia came in the room, panicked and frightened. She snatched the remote from my sister and turned the channel to Fox News, and that's when we saw it.

Fire. Just fire and smoke blacker than night. Those big buildings that my dad had just told me about a few days before were on fire. The smoke filled the atmosphere with chaos and terror as the world began to learn what was unfolding. Not long after that, my mom came in and moved my sister and I out of the room. We weren't able to see what was going on, but we could hear it all. We heard the screams coming from the other side of the wall as one tower fell, and then other. We heard the panic in my mother's voice as she tried again and again to call my father.

My father was in Chicago, at the top of another building, in a morning full of meetings. His bosses called him only a couple days before to let him know that he didn't have to come out to New York that week, and he stayed home. I've always wondered why he got that phone call, why him? Some call it divine intervention, some call it dumb luck, I just call it a miracle. Because of that stroke of luck, I grew up with a father that made me the man I am today. Dad, if you're reading this, I love you.

In the hours and days that followed, I saw the sons of our nation get called to fight this evil, the evil that robbed so many of their lives. I think about it sometimes; how much potential was lost that day. The worlds next great poet, a future doctor, or even a future president. So much potential for greatness and change wiped out in an instant. But what I think about the most is the silence. The silence of the tears rolling down my fathers face when he came home that day. The silence of his friends and coworkers who were at that meeting, trapped in their own casket. But I'll never forget the silence in the sky. My dad took my sister and I to the park the next day, and there was nothing but silence.No great airplanes roaring through the sky, just silence.

I'm telling you all this now, not because I want views or sympathy's, but because too many people have forgotten. When I scroll down my Twitter feed this time of year, I'm baffled and angered by a number of people that take this as a joke. Crying in laughter emoji's overtake the crying of grief from those who lost loved ones. And I understand that other people my age or younger don't remember it or weren't even alive for it. But that is why WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT.

Cover Image Credit: NYC The Official Guide

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12 Things Young Republicans Are Tired Of Hearing

A dozen myths about conservatism and what the real deal is.

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As a college student, I know a lot of people my age consider themselves very liberal. It's a rare occasion when you meet another conservative on campus. Being a young Republican, there are several negative assumptions that come along with that.

Here is a list of 12 things we're all tired of hearing.

1. "You're only a Republican because your parents are."

Yes, my parents are both Republican and that's where my morals and beliefs were first taught, but I am my own person. I have done my own research and decided that my views side with the Republican Party. There are several things that even my parents and I disagree on. I wouldn't choose to be a Democrat just so I could be different.


2. "I bet you support Trump."

While many Republicans my age are supporting Trump, that doesn't mean we all are. We're entitled to our personal opinions and assuming we're all the same is incorrect. Just because you are a Republican doesn't mean you automatically support Trump.

3. "You're racist, sexist, etc."

This couldn't be farther from the truth. There are so many Republicans that come from unique racial and cultural backgrounds, both genders included. Take Marco Rubio, Condoleezza Rice, Ben Carson, and Bobby Jindal. These are just a few of the many, many examples.


4. "You're uneducated about the issues."

Just because someone has a different opinion than you doesn't mean they're wrong or uninformed.


5. "You're only a Republican because you're rich."

I am by no means rich. Did my parents have enough money to support their family? Yes, and I'm very blessed for that. However, they didn't pay for everything. As for college, I worked my butt off to get scholarships and opportunities to succeed. I was taught at a very young age that money requires work and things aren't just handed to you. That's exactly the reason why I strongly support capitalism.


6. "Why don't you want free college?"

NOTHING IS FREE. Would free college be awesome? Absolutely! However, I do not believe it's fair to tax working people to pay for it. If you want something, work for it.


7. "The GOP is a bunch of old, white men."

This is so untrue. I mean take a look at all the well-known conservatives in America. Lauren Conrad, Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood, Carly Fiorina, Condoleezza Rice, Megyn Kelly, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and so many more. Point proven.


8. "You're close-minded."

This is the most common and most annoying. Conservative does not equal close-minded. I love hearing about different ideas and opinions.


9. "You hate immigrants."

I personally feel like our immigration system is broken and needs to be changed so it's more accessible to become an American citizen. However, I don't believe those here illegally should receive taxpayer benefits. I'm all for immigration as long as it's done legally.


10. "You don't support women's rights."

Usually, this is brought up when talking about abortion. What about the rights of the unborn child? It's not just about one person's rights at that point.


11. "You should just #FeelTheBern."

#NO. I do not support socialism.


12. "You only hear the Fox News version."

Fox News is my favorite choice of news programs, but I also enjoy hearing the different views on CNN, NBC, Huffington Post, etc.


Cover Image Credit: Texas State University College Republicans

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My Hometown Just Experienced A Mass Shooting, If We Don't Do Something, Yours Could Be Next

You never think it will happen to you until it does.

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I was on my way out the door to work when I got a panicked call from my mother.

"Can you look at the news online?" she said quickly. "There is a mass shooting somewhere nearby."

My heart stopped. For me, Aurora, Illinois is home. I was born there, I grew up around the area and I attended high school there. My siblings go to school close by and my boyfriend works for a neighboring fire department.

How could my beloved hometown become the victim of the latest tragedy?

After calling my boyfriend, who was at the fire station getting ready to deploy ambulances to the scene, I discovered that it had taken place at a factory nearby. My anxiety hit an all-time high as I watched the updates on all of the local city Facebook pages and groups. Officers down. Gunman at large. Mass casualties.

Hours later, all of the facts came out. A former employee of Henry Pratt's Company, a local industrial warehouse, had recently been let go and decided to get revenge. He entered the warehouse with a gun and began to shoot at random, killing five people and wounding many others, including five police officers. He was killed by local SWAT forces.

I am the kind of person who is pro-gun and pro-gun rights because of the second amendment and all of the freedoms I believe we deserve. But that doesn't make what happened okay and it never will.

While this situation doesn't change my mind, it does change my view of the world.

Why would somebody decide that shooting former coworkers was the way to go? Why would anyone want to hurt others? These are the questions that flooded my mind in the hours after the mass shooting. I don't necessarily think we have a gun issue in America, but issues with mental health and valuing life.

We pass bills to kill unborn children. We repeal bills that take away healthcare from million. We devalue life in its most basic form and respect those around us to still have enough respect for each other's lives. We stigmatize those who need psychiatric care and expect things to still be alright.

This is not alright.

Our country, our system, our values, and morals, they are all broken and backward. We have let mass shootings become normal and violence becomes accepted. It needs to be stopped. There needs to be a change.

One of the people killed was an intern from a local college during his first day on the job. Being a college student applying to internships myself, this hit far too close to home. Nobody deserves to die, least of all in their place of work while trying to further their career.

Five people lost their lives due to someone's disrespect of them. Yes, a gun was the weapon, but a mind was the actor. I pray that someday, our country will return to valuing life and respecting others enough to help them instead of pushing them away. This is not the first mass shooting, but it can be the last. If, and only if, we make sure of it.

If you want to help the victim's families in any way, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses

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