06 September 2010


i watched a documentary last night called "9/11: After the Towers Fell" on discovery channel. 9/11 was one of the most horrific days i can remember in my life. i was 17, my junior year of high school. i was in chemistry class with mrs. seay. our principle came over the loud speaker telling us what was happening, instructing teachers to keep the tv's off. mrs. seay went right over to the tv and turned it on (this is why i loved her), and we all stopped what we were doing, sat on our desks, gasped as we watched the plane hit the north tower... we were silenced. stunned. shocked. scared. i will never forget that moment, and i will never forget the sadness that i felt, holding my classmate's hand, praying so hard that the people in new york would somehow be okay, but i knew they wouldn't.  and it broke my heart.

i don't know if you remember or not, but america became incredibly patriotic after that. people had flags on their cars, homes, shirts, hats. people smiled at each other. people rallied together and did whatever it took to help their neighbor. people came from all over the country to volunteer in new york: to look for survivors, to clean up ground zero. i remember thinking, "i hope this lasts. i hope this will change america... that these people didn't die in vain." and it lasted for awhile, but eventually it stopped, or greatly slowed down (to say the least). i remember seeing this photograph all over the place: 

but i think we did forget to a certain degree.  all of a sudden the road rage began again.  all of a sudden we started judging those around us again.  the patriotism died a little bit, or at least took a serious back seat to everything else.  watching this documentary last night hit me so hard and i realized that although i will never ever forget where i was that day when the towers fell and the emotions that ran though me, i have forgotten myself what patriotism i felt and how hallowed and sacred september 11 really is.  the documentary was hard to watch-- it was graphic and honest, and it was seriously heartbreaking.  i found myself crying on the couch, listening to the screaming, watching new yorkers run for their lives, watching husbands and wives, fathers and sons, sisters, and brothers being separated from one another and not knowing if the other was alive or not.  i literally cannot imagine what that would be like-- the aching fear and uncertainty of the life of your loved one.  

we will never forget.  no, we won't.  but to a degree we have a little bit, and i feel rejuvenated in my patriotism for this country.  i feel like i will treat 9/11 a little bit differently from now on.  i will do better to love my neighbors, to help those around me, to smile at a stranger, to offer help when needed.  it is my personal goal to make sure that the people who lost their lives on 9/11 didn't die in vain, and that this country will go on somehow in a positive way.  there are so many good people in the world.  so. many.

i hope we'll never forget that.


holtkamp said...

i love this post jenna. i 'miss' the patriotism that tied all of us americans together after 9/11. although it came at a horrible price, wouldn't it be nice if that unity stuck around?

Michelle said...

good post. It's so true.