I have good parents. When we were growing up, my Mom and Dad taught my Sister and I about patriotism. They taught us how we are blessed to live in the United States of America. They were not “helicopter parents” and they made sure to teach us about our national history, the good and the bad. At 9, I was proud to be an American. However, there was one day that changed me forever.
Do you remember where you were September 11th, 2001?
I do. I was 13 years old. At the time, I was living in my hometown of Arlington, Texas. I was sitting in the kitchen attempting to read something mathematical. Yes, my Mom was helping my Sister and I as we worked hard at furthering our education. My Dad, who is a Pastor was away at a meeting.
The phone rang and a friend gave us the news. A plane had flown into the World Trade Center. Suddenly, my world was torn apart.
We turned on the television and saw the horrific images. I remember those reporting the news had no idea what was going on. Later, as we watched live as the second plane went in, I as a thirteen year old figured it out, America was attacked.
Then the towers went down. I could not believe as all the people scattered to get away from the debris that rained down on them.
We stayed up hearing about the Pentagon and later the heroic efforts of the passengers on Flight 93.
I have to admit, I was scared. The cell phones were scrambled so we were unable to get a hold of my Dad. We had no idea where he was or if there was another target.
My Dad did make it home. He and my Mom did a great job of comforting us, but the fear lingered.
However, later that night, we heard President George W. Bush on the Television. Say what you want to about his presidency as a whole, but that night he was so presidential and he put my fears to rest.
It was a sobering moment and I cheered on the first responders and the resilience of New York City. It was a moment that brought every citizen of the United States of America together.
I have a nephew who is three years old. His generation will be the first to know 9/11 as a historical fact instead of a life changing event. They will know it only as Patriot Day. We need to teach them that there are those out there that hate us because we have freedom.
We are Americans and we need to defend freedom. As the next generation grows up, we must never forget.
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