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Remembering 9/11: One Family’s Thoughts Ten Years Later

9/11 Tenth Anniversary

As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks is upon us, I am interested in your thoughts. I know you were all fairly young at the time (ok, except for Dad) but what, if any, memories do you carry with you about September 11, 2001? What were you doing 9/11? Does it impact your world today in any way?

I remember when and where I was during the attack on 9/11. I was almost 5, and I was at a friends’ house. We came up from the basement, and his Mom had the news on. Then I saw a clip of a plane crashing into a tall building. I wasn’t even old enough to understand what it was or what had happened.

Now that I’m older, though, I realize that what I saw as a kid was one of the most tragic things to ever happen to our country. It makes me realize that our country is a lot more vulnerable than I thought. It also struck a little bit of fear in me, because it made me realize that there are countries and people out there that want to destroy the United States and its citizens. I think that more than anything, the 9/11 attack opened my eyes to what the world really is and what it has really become.

I think my memories of that day will be about the same as any other persons. Everything started getting weird at school when parents were pulling their kids out and teachers wouldn’t tell us why. Then when I got home it was all over the TV. I don’t think at the time I really understood what was going on.

I think 9/11 has a much greater impact on me now since I am able to understand the consequences of that day and since I am now personally invested in the outcome of the war and our actions overseas with my boyfriend an enlisted member of our United States Army. I worry a lot about the decisions Obama makes about the war and our troops. I have found myself sitting, eyes glued to the TV, watching several presidential addresses when my friends just go about their business unaware.

I (like a lot of other American people) am just ready for this war to be over and for everyone to come home. September 11th is a day to remind us of our strength as a country, the lives that have been lost in the towers and overseas, and what we can do to bring our men home.

I was eight years old when the 9/11 terrorist attack happened. Like Ryan, and most kids my age and younger, I couldn’t fully understand the death and destruction. At that point in my life I was just starting to realize that things like that could happen.

I do remember there was a sad silence everywhere I went. The teachers, my parents, people on the street, everyone was hurt. I understand now that I was experiencing a whole nation in mourning, and when I think about what happened it breaks my heart. It sends chills down my spine that I experienced perhaps the darkest moment so far in 21st century America. The violent murder of so many people and the tragedy resulting for family, friends, and society is a weight that I and everyone else will have to carry for generations to come.

I remember exactly what I was doing at that moment, as do most Americans who remember that day. It was a moment that we realized that we are not as safe as we thought.

Like the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and Pearl Harbor for the generations before, it completely changed the way we think about the world, our position in it, and our safety. There are a lot of angry people out there that have different views on morality and the value of life. I remember watching innocent people jump to their death from the roof of the World Trade Center. I remember hearing heart wrenching cell phone conversations from people who knew they were about to die who wanted to talk to their families one more time. I remember CNN videos of people celebrating in the Middle East.

I hope you kids will somehow remember these images as well. If not, we are doomed to repeat them.

Mindy Gallagher is the Social Media Manager for Your Teen Magazine. She is the assistant coach for the girls’ lacrosse team for Solon High School in Ohio.

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