We Are Strong
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We Are Strong

A reflection on 9/11.

We Are Strong

It is September 9th, 2016 as I’m writing this. On Sunday, it is the 15th anniversary of 9/11. It’s hard to believe it’s already been 15 years since the tragedy.

I was just three when it happened, so I can’t remember anything from that day. I know my parents were in the city working in their offices, and I know my dad’s office building was close to the site. I can’t remember any of that; it’s just information that’s been relayed to me over the years. I’m thankful I can’t remember it because I can’t remember the fear everyone felt or the pain. I can’t imagine what it was like to go through that day and understand what was happening. I was just three, so it was just another day.

In my school, I remember being taught about it for the first time in the seventh grade. We were asked to talk to our parents about what had happened to them that day and write down their responses. I was so angry after hearing my mom talk about it. How could people do this to innocents? I handed in my paper the next with the words "disgusting humans" describing those who had organized the terror. I didn’t remember any of it and I was shaking with anger.

Every year after, we spent our history class talking about it or watching a video on 9/11. Every year, I am reminded of how strong the nation was that day. I’m not talking politics here, that can open a bag of worms I don’t feel the need to discuss at the moment, but I’m talking about how everyday people reacted to this.

Manhattan is an island, an island that holds millions of people everyday.

The Boatlift is a video that I had the pleasure of watching in my junior and senior years of high school. Ferries, fishing boats, every type of boat came to the southern edge of Manhattan to pull people from the terror they were facing that day. No one knew if the City was going to be attacked again, if the boats were going to be targeted. But these heroes still went to the City, not willing to not do anything because of fear.

I often say, “I hate people,” but watching these videos and being reminded of the compassion and bravery those who lived through that day had, I can’t say that with certainty anymore. I hated discussing 9/11 for years after I had first learned what happened. It seemed like a day where we were reminded of how horrible the world could be. I didn’t see it as anything but a horrible day where there was no good.

It was a horrible day. A tragedy that needs to be remembered.

I see it differently now. I do still dislike talking about it, as most people do, but I use the day to remind myself of our resilience and our strength. The everyday person did not rumple, but stood strong and went into the unknown to help strangers.

I don’t remember 9/11, but I remember being taught that we are strong and we do not fold when we are tested.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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