Everyone said, they would never forget, but sometimes it seems like so many have.
Nine years ago today I was woken up by my mother telling me that my friend was on the phone. I told her to tell her I would call her back, but my friend was insistent so I grabbed the phone. As soon as I said hello, she tells me we have been attacked. While I loved my friend dearly, I knew she was prone to go to the extremes and over react sometimes so I had her explain. I still just assumed that it was an accident and went down stairs to turn on the tv. Eventually it became clear that the USA had indeed been attacked.
I was born in NY, but grew up across the bay in NJ. My hometown is not technically the "Jersey Shore", but is only ten minutes away. Years later I would meet people who lived right on the bay across from NYC who not only saw from a distance the horrible scene, but had ash and smoke in their front yards. My hometown lost the most people in NJ in 9/11, and there were many more that are here today to talk about either how they got out, or that for some reason, they didn't go into work that day.
The weeks that followed showed such an amazing amount of patriotism and tolerance in the people of America. I remember hearing stories of how gangs in the city were working together handing out water to the people helping at ground zero. It was then that I really understood how wonderful it was to live in this country, and not only because of how the people of this country came together. I also came to realize how lucky we are as Americans compared to the rest of the world. This was the most devastating attack on our soil from another country. Pearl Harbor was devastating, but the magnitude was nothing compared to this. Yet in other countries, they have already been attacked many times in recent history. Air raid sirens here were used for drills, but the ones in England were for bombs. Even recently I have heard on the radio of a town in a country that's government has shut off their power, and another where civilians fight daily to survive. And here we were, in a country that has protected us for so many years, kept us safe to the point that we became arrogant.
Nine years later, my daughter is 11 years old, and my second is the same age as my first was on 9/11, almost to the day. Nine years later and I am still afraid for what the future will be life for my daughters. Everyone said they would never forget, but nine years later we have gone from being united as a country, with a strong sense of patriotism and tolerance, to a country that is consumed with nothing but about how what one person is doing will affect them. Three years after the towers fell, people were still being courteous and thoughtful, but by seven years after, a woman in a rush in the cereal aisle at the supermarket smacked into my six month old daughters head while she was sitting in the cart, all because she was in a rush. The woman turned and saw what she hit then kept going. And that is not the only experience I have had.
We, as a country, need to REMEMBER 9/11 and how it brought us together, that we are IN this together. If we don't have respect for each other, how can we expect other countries, who have publicly admitted to hating us, to have respect for us.
I am proud to be an America. I am thankful for running water, indoor plumbing, having a car, the freedom to have my own religious beliefs that are not a part of any organized religion, that I am able to vote every whenever I want to, that I have the freedom to look up anything at the internet that I want, from how to make a perfect meringue to devil worshipping and witch craft if I want to. That my daughters can run around outside in the sunshine with nothing more than a bathing suit on, that I can tell my wonderful husband to shove it where the sun don't shine whenever he pisses me off, that I can leave the house without my face and hair covered, that if another woman wants to leave the house with their hair and face covered they can, all without risk of severe punishment. That everyone is entitled to an education no matter their gender sex age ethnicity or religion, that anyone can love anyone else, that my government actually keeps us safe and protected. I am thankful to have lights on in my house, heat in the winter, a roof over my head, food in my belly, and my children being vaccinated. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.
God Bless the USA
RIP all the victims in the 9/11 attacks, and God bless all those who survived that day. Thank you to all those who did so much for the victims and families. For you I will teach my children to be polite and courteous, to respect themselves and others, to be grateful for the gifts we have in our lives, to appreciate every moment, to not feel a sense of entitlement or think that someone somewhere somehow owes them something, to work hard for themselves and for others, to always know that I love them every day and to make sure they know to let those they love how they feel daily.