Good morning students,
What is still very real to any adult in your life, you know 9/11/2001 only as part of your history, and it’s an important part. Ask any adult where they were that day and they will be able to vividly remember where they were when the news of the terrorist attacks started breaking. For me, I was entering my third year in the U.S.A. as an international student, playing tennis at CSU. I remember walking into my first class of the day with a few students who were already there, standing around a tv screen, watching in silence as the events started unfolding.
Classes were canceled for the day and everyone went back home or to the dorms to watch these incredibly sad scenes of the twin towers on fire and the collapsing. These events changed history in our country. I say “our” country because after years of going through the legal immigration process, which I started in 2003, I finally became an American Citizen two years ago. I am incredibly proud of that milestone and of being part of one of the greatest countries in the world.
After 9/11….9/12 happened. On September 12, 2001 we saw unity like you wouldn’t believe. People were lifting each other up, encouraging one another and doing whatever they could to rebuild what was taken from them. I miss 9/12. It is proof that as a school, as a community, as a country, we can achieve amazing things if we focus on simply being kind and helping one another.
Today we remember the over 3000 lives lost on September 11, 2001 and all the brave law enforcement and firefighters who ran toward the chaos to save lives, or the countless stories of bravery that were told after the event like what happened on board United Airlines Flight 93 to prevent another attack. As you remember, reflect on the impact you can have on your current society. You will hear all over the media that we’re a divided nation. Don’t believe that. Instead, focus on whether you are adding to the chaos…or the calm. Are you living by the golden rule: “treat others how you would like to be treated” or are you slandering others in person or on social media? YOU get to choose the narrative, not the media, not the politicians, not anyone other than YOU. Nothing is free in life, certainly the freedom we enjoy in the U.S. isn’t.
Reflect and remember today but then be the change you want to see in the world, don’t sit back and wait for others to do it for you. When you see a firefighter, military personnel, or law enforcement officer, thank them for their service or even pay for their coffee or meal. This is one of the greatest countries in the world; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Let’s remember 9/11/2001…but let’s live like it is 9/12/2001.
Make it a great day.
We honored the heroes,
Who stayed in harm’s way,
We felt for the families,
And bowed our heads to pray.
We felt pride in our country,
For sticking close together.
Neighbors and strangers gathered
To give help to one another.
It happened long ago,
But it’s not that far away
The memories will always be with us,
Of that sad September day.