Sunday, September 11, 2011
What can happen in ten years?
You can get your ears pierced.
You can move.
You can invent 3D movies.
You can make 10 new friends.
You can outgrow a passport.
You can learn to cook.
You can invent Facebook.
You can forget your kindergarten enemy.
You can forget how mad you were that one time.
You can forget what that shirt looked like.
You can forget the disagreement with your sister.
But there are some things you cannot forget.
September 11, 2001.
Great, loud, looming, shocked silence.
What happened? What was so great? So terrible? What had happened that was so big the whole world stopped to watch?
There are lots of ways to say it; each one makes your stomach clench, your mind flinch, your heart squeeze.
Nine-eleven. 9-11. September 11. The World Trade Center. The Twin Towers.
It's funny trying to remember a time before it happened. It's funny because we will never forget what happened, but we've already forgotten what it was like before.
Remember when middle-eastern people didn't look scary?
Remember when you could walk right onto an airplane without checking bags?
Remember when the word "terrorism" was foreign?
Remember when America felt like the safest place in the world?
I was seven when it happened; I barely remember those things. But I do remember. What's sad is the kids I know who don't.
The nine-year-old girl I babysit can’t remember a time before Nine-Eleven. She doesn't remember when middle-eastern people were just people. She doesn't remember not having extensive airplane security. She doesn't remember not knowing what "terrorism" is. She doesn't remember thinking that America was invincible.
It's been ten years. America is growing again, in some good directions, and in some bad, but she is growing. That's the only thing she can do. People may try to strike her down, but the values she stands for--Freedom, Equality, Bravery, Honor, Justice--will endure forever, as long as the people defend them.
And that's what we will do. No matter what happens, no matter who tries to derail us, we will stand strong for our God-given rights and for WHAT is right. We will remember not only Nine-Eleven, but everything before that, everything our founding fathers stood for.
On this anniversary of the great American tragedy, don't just remember the Twin Towers. Remember why they were destroyed, and uphold those values all the stronger.
In ten years, a lot can happen, but some things you never forget.
And some of those things you never should.