Yahoo! is asking Americans how September 11 changed them. Below is an account from a reader.
"Just another day in a red brick building."
At least that's what I thought as I walked into Pilot Elementary School on September 11, 2001. The span of my ten-year-old world did not cover much ground, and my problems reached no further than handling the pressures of being a pastor's kid. Just a few hours after my mom dropped me off, I remember sitting in my classroom and watching with my classmates as the second plane hit one of the twin towers. I glued my eyes to the television for the rest of the day; I couldn't move. The thoughts that prevailed thereafter centered around one idea: "How could anyone do something so evil?"
[Your story: How has September 11 changed you?]
That night we opened the church doors for prayer and for people who just wanted answers. Many wanted to know, as did I, how God could allow such evil to take place. I still don't know the answer to that question, but I did learn a few things that day. Regardless of the evil that took place God used September 11 to teach me to love and pray for my enemies. A hatred for our country and a disregard for the life within played huge roles in the attack on America. How are we much different if those same forces drive us? I do not believe that our country should or did fail to administer justice for these acts of terrorism. However, there has to be some code of honor enacted or we become motivated by the same evil that caused the deaths of so many of our own.
Also, as odd as it may seem, parts of the day taught me to hope. People all across the nation stood together: we mourned for the fallen, aided in search and rescue missions, volunteered to provide basic services to the families and the volunteers at Ground Zero, and sent donations. New heroes arose such as the brave people on Flight 93, New York firefighters, police, and other first responders. The numbers of enlisted soldiers drastically increased and there was a new sense of patriotism. I had hope that people weren't all bad because we were supporting each other and standing up for our country. I still have hope because that sense of love, support, and having a freedom worth fighting for.
Though I have not yet figured out where it will take me, I chose to study Criminal Justice. From there I plan on getting a master's degree and want to play some small part in supporting this country and making it a safer place. I know that God used the events on September 11, 2001 as a part of what lead me to where I am today. I'm also grateful for the sacrifices made by the men and women who are still defending our country, and those who lost their lives in the service of others that day. I pray for the people of America; that we would find healing, closure, security, and most of all, that we will never lose hope for a better tomorrow.
- September 11
- September 11, 2001
- Pilot Elementary School