September 11, 2001 was like any other early Tuesday morning; I was reluctant to get up, knowing my daily schedule consisted of four demanding college classes. Before jumping into the shower, Mom switched on my radio, and I halfheartedly listened to the music. I wasn’t completely convinced that waking up was in my best interest, although I knew my time in bed was limited to the length of Mom’s shower. For the next fifteen minutes, I wavered between dreams and reality, but in an instant the dreams abruptly dissipated when the radio announced, “The World Trade Center has been struck by an airline.”
Needless to say, the radio was replaced by the TV; the dreams were replaced with the shocking reality of a building inferno—and questions were replaced with terror when the second plane slammed into the other tower. As the day unfolded, these two initial attacks were only the precursor of a day filled with indescribable horror and years filled with never-ending recovery efforts. When all was said and done, 9/11’s aftermath left approximately 3,000 empty chairs, places where grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles, sons, grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, friends, and even children once sat. Irreplaceable individuals were taken too soon by the ruthless tyranny of terrorists.
It’s been ten years now since that fateful Tuesday morning, when America, the land of life and liberty, quickly vanished into America, the land under attack and turmoil. It’s only natural to remember those who had their lives snatched away on that day, but it’s just as important to remember those who survived and were left behind. For thousands of people, life changed forever; for the nation, the sense of security and invincibleness waivered.
In the ten years since 9/11, America has seen its share of victories, the most notable being the capture and death of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011. However, other victories include the dedication of several memorials, the growth of children of 9/11 victims and the sense of moving on while remembering. September 11, 2001 marked the start of a new chapter not only for many people but also for the nation.
On November 11, 2001, President George W. Bush stated, “Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.”
After ten years, this statement still rings true. We will not forget, but we will move on as a nation—and as I believe—one nation under God!