There are certain dates in time that define a generation. These are the dates that you will never forget. There are two days that I remember in detail… the first is January 28, 1986, the Challenger Explosion. But, this memory was trumped on September 11, 2001.
September 11th is a day to remember why we are proud to be American. It is a day to look back and realize that even though we as a country were rocked and rocked hard. They attacked us. How? Why? Who thinks it was ok to attack us…. we are Americans. We are the country that goes into action and helps everyone else. We send money, resources and whatever we can to other countries. I don’t think anyone expected “them” to attack us. But they did.
It was my second year living in FL. I had been working for around a month at a new school. I had just dropped my class off at lunch. I walked into the room where we ate lunch together. I had that feeling of… somethings off. I realized that the TV in the room was not on the school clock, but actually on a TV station. I looked up and saw them play the footage of the second plane hitting the twin towers. I just stood there in shock. I don’t think I even realized a co-worker had walked in the door and was talking to me.
We took our students out of the cafeteria and were on lock-down the rest of the day. I remember thinking OMG how can this be happening? What is next? There were so many thoughts in my head. As the days and weeks went on two things happened. We as a country became a bit nervous that more would happen… and we banded together and said what can we do?
I saw more flags flying at this time than ever in my life. There were showings of all kind that said, you can’t scare us… we are Americans. We stood together. We put aside differences and helped our neighbors.
This is the same American pride I now see when there is a natural disaster in our country. We saw it with Katrina. We see it with the hurricanes, flood, fires, earthquakes…. doesn’t matter what gets thrown at us, we will try to help. We will try to band together and help our neighbors, those that live next door or across the country.
Today I think of those effected by 9/11. I think of the military and first responders and others who run towards the scary while others run away to safety. I think about the teachers who have to help children cope with the scary and find ways to explain without making it scarier. I think about the people who go check on their neighbor, look after the elderly. I think of the hospital workers who are helping the sick and injured. I think of the families of those who are helping and don’t have that family member home safe with them. I could go on and on.
I look at this as a day to remember that no matter what… We are American. We are Proud. We are United. You can knock us down, but we will get back up and be stronger than ever… together!