I remember sitting in my living room flipping through the channels trying to find something good to watch. It was around 10 or so at night and my family and I were house-bound because of Typhoon Nina, I was 12. We only had a few channels since we lived overseas, we didn't have the luxury of an endless amount of entertainment like Stateside homes. I was on my second round of channel surfing when I passed what I thought was a movie of two buildings with one of them on fire, I skipped over it. That's when my Papi stepped in and told me to switch it back. I remember being so annoyed because I didn't want to watch this boring movie. That feeling lasted about a second. As soon as I switched back I realized, "this isn't a movie, this is the news." I remember thinking what a horrible accident this was, and what could have happened to cause this. That is when the second plane hit. I saw it coming from the corner of the screen. It was just a little harmless dot at first, a blip on the radar. Then boom everything changed. I was stunned, I remember not being able to think. I was having far too many emotions for a twelve year old to handle. After the initial shock of the second attack I knew this wasn't an accident. The rest of the evening was a blur. I know I watched the news unfold and my parents making numerous calls to,well honestly I don't know who, but my Papi was a Marine and my Mom worked for the Marine Corps, so I believe they were busy figuring out what was going to happen next.
The days that followed were slow and gloomy. The base I lived on shut down. No one was allowed outside of their home unless absolutely necessary, cops patrolled our streets, and school was closed. We lived in fear. What was going to happen next? Were we safe? Are we going to be attacked?We weren't attacked, but life didn't go back to normal. Everyday I heard about more deaths, more injuries, and more sadness. But there were also miracle stories of people who made it out, of people who were still alive and doing everything to help. Stories of heroes circulated and the American response was overwhelming. We were all united. I wish that our country was still as united as we were in the months that followed the attacks, but sadly we are not. Everyone is divided in their own views and at each others throats for having their own opinion. It is a bit sad, but I am thankful that everyone still takes a moment to remember what happened 11 years ago and to pray for all the lives lost. At least we still have that.
The attacks on our country had numerous effects on my life but there is one wheel that was set in motion that day that I will always be grateful for. On the other side of the world, a country boy from Oklahoma watched the attacks and was inspired. It was then he decided he could not just sit around and watch as terrorist attacked our Homeland. At 11 years old he decided he would become a Marine. I met that boy 8 years, one week and one day later. He changed my life. When he told me why he decided to join the Marines I fell in love with his passion. I had never seen someone talk so passionately about why they decided to become a Marine, it was inspiring. He is a great Marine, a great husband, and I know he is going to be a wonderful father.
"Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.
--George W. Bush
"You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy."
“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children. “
--George W. Bush