Ten years already. Time sure goes by quickly. As for those of us who have grown up with the events of years past, particularly those on a certain day in September, perhaps these ten years have affected us more drastically than would ten in our parents' lives. My communications teacher thought it would be a good experiment to have everyone in his class write a reflection on how 9/11 affected us, the generation that has grown up with this reality. I have a bad habit of posting my homework only because I can't think of anything else to put up (School has that odd effect on you. Somehow you think up your best blog posts when you don't quite intend to). I enjoyed reading everyone's take, though most of us didn't quite understand what had occurred. As for me, I remember that morning rather well.
I remember sitting at my dinning table that morning and doing my homework assignments when my aunt called my mom. I didn’t catch what she said but could hear the urgency in her voice as my mom rushed to the living room and turned the TV on. My siblings and I weren’t allowed to watch the almost frantic activity on the screen, but immediately were aware that something was amiss as my mom began to cry. Even though I was homeschooled, I could feel that the world was thrown into turmoil, suddenly on shaky footing in its unexpected uncertainty. What we once considered neigh impregnable was suddenly – and through a child’s perception, permanently – contradicted.
It was the oddest mix of feelings. On one hand, people were experiencing a sudden religious fervor. On the other, since Hawaii was the bridge between continental US and had almost extremely heightened security, there were strange undercurrents of mistrust particularly when it came to traveling. My mom could not shield us from all the tragedy; eventually I had a faint idea of what had occurred. It terrified me. I had thought, as a carefree nine-year-old, America to be the bravest of nations, quite akin to Superman. I’d overlooked the fact that even Superman fell to kryptonite. The event had taken my ideal and slapped it across the cheek, leaving me in shocked confusion.
9/11 forever changed my perception of America, possibly in ways that I am today still unsure of. Yet one hope still broke through the murky confusion, and that was the response of the heroes during the aftermath. I realized that, while she isn’t the invincible ideal and still needs every single one of her citizens, every single one of them have the courage and responsibility to proudly carry on. We are through the grace of God who we make ourselves to be. After all, isn’t that one of the principles that brought life to our country in the first place?
Because of 9/11, I’ve grown up with the idea that we were given a chance; a chance to redefine America as our founding fathers meant from the beginning. Coming up to date, the question I now have for my generation is: how will we do it?