I was 12 at the time. My worldview was shattered and my sense of security was destroyed that day. You don’t think much of the world until you’re at home, watching the attack on TV before school. You go to school and no one knows anything, the teachers and principals don’t want to tell you anything. You are in 7th grade in Texas, how does this even begin to affect you?
It will always affect me. Every 9/11, my stomach is in knots all day, thinking about it. But at the same time, a sense of pride, for the heroes that rose up that day and the response by our country. I remember that whole day so vividly, like a slow-motion play-by-play in my head. It is just something you won’t ever forget. Life changed a lot that day, even as a 12-year-old. My coming of age will always be in the shadow of 9/11, as will how I view the world. Where my parents viewed the world through the lens of the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam, my grandparents through Pearl Harbor and the dropping of the atomic bombs, and my sister through the fall of the Berlin Wall, mine will be 9/11.
I leave you with one final thought, from President George W. Bush:
Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.
The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.
These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.
Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.
America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.