I was 11 on September 11, 2011. Now I am 21 and have lived half of my life under the shadow of that day. I can hardly remember the days before 9/11.
Since May, the country has rejuvenated itself to degrees I have never seen. The young and old swaying to the tune of “U-S-A, U-S-A!” near the White House past midnight on the day President Obama announced Osama bin-Laden’s death. The triumph and joy was exhilarating. It was impossible not to get caught up in the celebration.
September 11th was a hard day for our country. I did not know at the time, but I think I do now. Thousands of firefighters and servicemen who are no longer with us, only from a shared impulse: to give themselves up to save the many.
Today, all I can do is thank those who protected us, who stood evil in the face and conquered all. Who continue to face evil daily.
I would like to conclude by quoting President Bush, from his address to the nation the night of the attacks. It would have taken great faith to praise our country the day thousands were killed and future attacks seemed possible- nay, imminent:
A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.
America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.
-President George W. Bush, 9/11/2011