We all remember where we were the morning of 9/11. My aunt was thinking she was going to celebrate her birthday, I was getting ready for a typical day in fifth grade (which meant always wearing a dress), and thousands of people all over the world thought it would be a morning like any other. And then came the crash. And soon, more to follow. Within a matter of hours, America watched as not one, but two towers collapsed into dust. Just like that, on September 11, ten years ago, the United States lost nearly 2,000 beloved souls.
This blog is about happiness. It’s hard to say that there is any to be had in a circumstance such as this. I have been pretty emotional lately watching all of the tributes and seeing where we are now, a decade later. As a fifth grader, I don’t think I could fathom what the consequences of the attacks were. Yes, I knew in that moment that thousands of precious lives were lost, but I didn’t think of the unborn babies who are now 10 years old, without ever knowing their father. I didn’t figure how burdened the men in baggage claim and boarding now feel. It’s not just those 2,000 that directly lost their lives, so many more lost a piece of their lives when those towers fell.
I’ll never forget that morning when I asked my history teacher, Mr. Alvarado, “Do you think this will lead to a war?” He replied, “No, no, of course not.” 10 years later, with thousands more lives lost, I think I got my actual answer.
So much happens in 10 years. I’d like to think we are better as a nation, but alas, this is wishful thinking. We have elected a new President but our economic problems are the same, if not exceedingly worse. It is my hope that in the next 10 years, we will be able to revive our economy so that we can hold our own as an international leader. This is no time for an isolationist policy. However, we also need to focus on our education—children are our future—and budget cuts in that department infuriates me more than anything. I have a profound faith in my generation and it is my prayer that we will answer the call to be leaders when our nation needs it most…NOW.
This morning, and every day, I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be of equal citizen with the men and women who bravely stood up for their values on those planes and for the people who went back into the building to try and save a few more. The acts of courage were astounding and I pray that we may all find the strength to set aside our own personal needs for those of others. As Americans, we are a people, a unified body—we do not stand alone. We support each other, we stand up for what is right, and we never give up.
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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