Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Little Bit of Perspective

Can you believe its been five years since 9/11? I cant. I dont know about you, but I remember that morning like it was this morning. The anniversary's are always kind of tough on me. I know that might sound stupid but its true. I was 18 in 2001. I had just left for college, to sow my wild oats if you will. It was my third week of school when everything happened, and it really affected me. Maybe it was because I was so young. I guess I was old enough to realize the severity of the situation, but still not mature enough control my emotions. I can honestly say that that day forever changed the way that I think. Prior to 9/11, I wasnt very politically involved. I was always up to date on current events, but mostly because my dad would watch the news every single night, and I just sat there, usually against my will. But as I watched those events unfold, I felt so completely helpless. I was totally paralyzed by fear and sorrow. I could not sleep that night, it was the first time I was ever afraid to be an American.

Those feelings have stuck with me to this day. Following 9/11, I found a new interest in politics and how our government operated. I guess you could say its become an obsession for me over the past five years, but I consider that a good thing. My knowledge in politics has helped me become a better person, and has driven me to not only major in political science, but also to hopefully work for the government in some shape or form. Its an irony that I dont take for granted. Out of those horrific events in 2001, came an opportunity for me, and Ive seized it. There wouldnt be a without 9/11.

I just wish more people were like me. We all remember the events and the exact place we were when we heard the news, but many forget how they felt that day, and thats a tragedy in it of itself. I guess time has healed those wounds for some, but not for me. The images of innocent people being forced to jump 100 stories to their deaths have been forever etched into my mind, which does not allow me to become complacit. Some people call what I just said scare-tactics. Let me ask you, doesnt it scare you to think you might be forced to jump out of a high rise building to your death because someone hates the way you live your life? Does it scare you that a family member could on any given day meet that same fate? Terrorism is called Terrorism because its supposed to scare you. Its not coincidence that the root of the word itself is terror. Look it up in the dictionary if you dont know what it means. Terrorists use fear as their primary weapon. Its supposed to scare all people into submission, but that plan backfired on them the minute that first plan hit that first tower five years ago tomorrow.

Almost every generation of Americans has had their lives altered by some major geo-political event; from the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, to the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, to the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, to the assassination of another president in 1963, and finally to the attacks of September 11th, 2001. Those before us have been able take tragedy and turn it into truimph. Now its our turn. The struggle that started five years ago continues, and victory is attainable. But we must go back to that morning, and remember the emotions felt, because only with that will and resolve will we be able to come out of these troubled times with the defeat of our enemies. Tomorrow, remember how your body responded to what your eyes were showing you that morning, and that should give you a little perpective.


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