Today, marks the 18th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. A day that will live in infamy in American history. On that morning 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists took control of four flights and caused tremendous loss of life on American soil. Two of those flights destroyed a symbol of American society and prosperity, The Twin Towers in New York City.

I remember as a high school student hearing that news that the Twin Towers had been hit. I ran to my next class to see what I heard was true. Plastered upon the tv screen was the footage of the first plane hitting the Tower. My mind could not process what was happening. Who would do this to us? What had we done to deserve this tragedy? 

My heart filled with rage, hopelessness, fear, and a deep sense of patriotism ran through me. I wanted those people who did this to pay dearly for what they had done. I believed we must strike back at the heart of evil that coordinated such violence. These mix of emotions where new to me and something I have never felt again since that day. 

Watching those towers fall struck me to my core. As, the collapsed from the sky with ash and debris raining towards the ground. Watching innocent Americans run for safety as large clouds of debris billow and over take them. Watching the chaos unfold before my eyes was devastating. My thoughts turned to their loved ones and the lives that would be lost that day. The emotions they felt, to the last phone calls they made to loved ones, waiting for death to come. The horrible reality laid bare before them. On 9/11, two thousand nine hundred and seventy seven lives were lost that day. September 11th is a day that lives in infamy in American history and changed the American landscape forever.

During this attack of terrorism upon American soil. The men and women of New York City police and firefighters did a phenomenal job on 9/11 and the days, months, and years later after the attack. Those men and women showed the true character of American people. 

We are selfless. Those first responders threw themselves into fire to protect and save the lives of innocent Americans. 

We are hardworking. First responders and organizations throughout America sent people to help clean up debris and find victims trapped beneath the rubble of the towers. Some Americans just went to New York to volunteer their time to help because America was in need. They understood that we needed each other to get through this attack. I remember them working day and night in effort to save lives and recover the fallen. 

We are resilient. After the events of 9/11 we would not let those attacks define us as a nation. We told the world through our leaders we would not cower to terrorism or extremist ideologies. We would fight those who abhorred our way of life. We would unite and protect the freedoms, values, and ideals of this nation. The principles and ideals of this nation are written in the fabric of our Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. Freedom, liberty, and justice for all for its citizen. To be a beacon of hope to those who feel marginalized, suppressed, and powerless. That is the cornerstone of this nation. 

We would rebuild, strengthen, and grow as a people. We would not let those events define our future. 

We are patriots. Following the aftermath of 9/11 patriotism overflowed in this country. Everyone was out in force showing their love for America and all it stands for. We reminded each other what makes this country great and what defends us as a nation. That our liberties, freedom, and diversity make us stronger as a nation. That we may disagree on many topics but, we are all Americans. It doesn’t matter your race, religion, creed, or sexual orientation 9/11 effected us all. As, Americans we understood we must support and defend our freedoms against those who seek to destroy us. We as Americans has prospered and achieve so much because we harnessed the energy, creativity, and freedom of the individual more than in any other nation. That is what makes America the greatest nation to live in. It is understanding that beauty why we sought to protect our way of life because we are all Americans. 

Today, on this September 11th we should take a moment and honor those who have lost their lives on that fateful day. Honor those police and firefighters who sacrificed all to preserve and save lives. Those brave men and women ran into the fray to preserve lives. Honor the innocent men and women who lost their lives in the Twin Towers and aboard those four airplanes on that that day. Think about the tearful last phone calls and those horrific last moments of those innocent Americans. Honor those we have lost to this vicious act of terrorism. Today, is a day to honor, respect and never forget the day that changed the American landscape. September 11th has left an indelible mark on American history and our society. We should do well to understand it’s importance and significance. Honor those who are not with us today and preserve their memories as testament for future generations. 

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