Sunday, September 11, 2011

Have you forgotten?

I remember 9/11/01.

I remember thinking I should remember the day because it would probably be a big deal later. I was in sixth grade and went to school like any other day. I sat in Mrs. Siesner's first period science class and was reading "Work and the Glory" and was pretty zoned to what was going on in class, I think because I had finished early. I was brought back to reality by a buzz of conversation about some tower falling down. I had never heard of the World Trade Centers but I didn't want to say so because everyone else seemed to know what they were, but I feigned concern because planes flying into buildings is never a good thing. I don't think any of my teachers were allowed to turn on the TV's and the principal told us to continue our day like a regular day. When I got home from school, my mom had a TV in our living room watching the footage of the planes crashing into the towers and the collapse of each playing over and over again. That's when I realized something major was happening; my mother was watching TV. In the living room. Something was not right. So different family members trickled home and we sat together and watched what was happening. I was only 12 and didn't really understand but I could feel the concern from my parents and teachers at school. That night when I went to bed, I asked my Mom if she thought they would try to bomb the arch next. She reassured me that we would be fine, but that was my little twelve year old heart worry!

Over the next couple days and years I realized what a monumental event it truly was in my lifetime! I thought how strange it would be that one day this would be just an event in a textbook, but it was very real to me and to so many people who lost loved ones in that tragic day! In many ways, that brought history alive for me. Reading about events from history wasn't just some words on a page anymore; real people had gone through those times of sadness just as I had done and experienced the tragedy and sadness that many events from our past carried.

And yet, ten years later, we look back to that day and remember for a moment what happened. But to what point do we remember? Do we go back to our normal lives and forget the sacrifices that happened that day? Or do we remember each day to be grateful for our loved ones and tell them how much we love them? Do we express our gratitude for our armed forces for their sacrifices in keeping our country safe? Do we live in tolerance of others so such destructive hate has no power to inflict such devastation again? Do we learn from our past so we don't repeat it?

I pray that the terrible events that occurred that day did not happen in vain. As the country begins to degrade morally, become more corrupt with hate, greed, and envy, and become more divided even among ourselves, I pray we do remember. Remember why those people died. Remember that hate caused such sadness. Remember the liberty that founded the ideals of our society and the God that made it happen. Remember those that continue to fight for our freedom. It is my hope that we can rise above ourselves and take part in something greater, something worth fighting for; rise up and protect our freedom.

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