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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget, 7 Years Later

It's been 7 years since the day I woke up to the sound of my uncle on the answering machine telling me to turn on the TV. I was going to Heald at the time, living up at my dad's house and he was out of town for work. I came downstairs and turned on the TV and stood in shock watching as flames engulfed one of the towers and a plane hit the other. As many times as they replayed footage of the plane hitting the tower, I just couldn't believe it really happened. Beyond that, if I were to believe that what I was seeing was real, I couldn't understand why.

The instructors at Heald just let us deal with that was going on and mostly we just watched the news for the next few days. That whole week was pretty much a blur as everyone went on with their lives, but now under a daze of disbelief and sorrow for what had happened. What I do remember, and will never forget, was just how unified everyone became in the wake of one of the worst tragedies in U.S. history, almost as an act of defiance to show that we stand together no matter what happens. I really wish the unity that was displayed in the fallout of 9/11 had become the template for society to follow where people are courteous, helpful and respectful of all others, not just in difficult times. It may sound like a fool's dream, but I refuse to accept that all people cannot get along if everyone makes the effort. Unfortunately, ignorance will forever be the fuel that lights the flames of separation that start with religious and racial differences.

Regardless of the differences that separate us all, we collectively owe it to our fallen heroes and troops overseas to pay respect and give thanks for the sacrifices they've made to protect us. As a father, I think about the children born after 9/11 who never met their mother or father because they were either lost in the attacks on the World Trade Center, on the planes that crashed, or killed in combat in Iraq. The war in Iraq has claimed more than 3,000 American troops, in combat alone, who went overseas to serve their country and protect us so please take a moment and remember them. Furthermore, as much as I'd like to see our troops home and safe I think it would be a huge dishonor to those who died to simply pull out and not let us finish what we started, or at least continue the fight. I used to think that our fallen troops will have died in vain if we simply pull out of Iraq without finishing the job, but then I realized that if they fought for something they believed in and served their country, that could never be the case.

All we can do is to make sure that every single person who has died as a result of 9/11 is remembered and that everyone does their part to be a better citizen of the planet, because the best way to honor the lost ones is to fulfill the dream that they died trying to accomplish.


Denise C. said...

It is, unfortunately, our "where were you when...I'll never forget" moment. And how could we? Even after seven years, I still wake up on this day, remember where I was, and who I was with it's pretty vivid. And I STILL can't believe it happened.

Anonymous said...

On September 11, I luckily had the day off from school, in Fremont. I woke up early that morning and first thing I did was turn on the tv and it wasn't the news which was on but a "special report". I happened to catch the second plane hit the tower. I turned up the volume and turned the station on the news to see if this was real. Unfortunately, it was, I couldn't beleive it. I kept telling myself, this must be some kind of movie!!
Watching all the clips and footage of the following moments, the pictures, peoples reactions on that very moment still gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes. This whole week folling up to today, I've been watching shows and clips from that day and survivors telling they're stories and where they were. It's unbeleiveable that some of these people lived to talk about it.
After the first two planes hit the towers, then fell was more tragic, but then seeing the Pentagon get hit later and then flight 93 crash in Pennsylvania was unimaginable. All these people died because of some stupid belief of other people. It really angered me.
To this day, they're are people who lost they're moms, dads, brothers, sisters, close family and friends which will never come back and didn't get to see the aftermath or the rebuilding of Ground Zero. I couldn't imagine being one of those people, to lose your wife, husband or child, how could you go on?? Very tough indeed.
Now we have war, an ongoing war and who knows when it will end..but I hope it ends quick so more of american soldier lives won't be lost. Anyhow, I wanted to share my thoughts on this subject for Jason and all who read it.