Yahoo! is asking Americans how September 11 changed them. Below is an account from a reader.
On September 11, 2001, I was 12 years old and in the seventh grade. I remember that day vividly. It wasn't a normal morning for me to begin with considering I was one of about 12 students who were chosen to be peer mediators.
It was a Tuesday and we were in the library, waiting for our training for the day to start. My good friend and I had our cheerleading skirts and polos on because we had a pep rally that day to cheer at. Texas and New York are pretty far apart and many of us had never heard of The Twin Towers. But I can still remember the look on the librarians face as she wheeled a television out of the back closet and turned it on. We were scared. How could something like this happen to our country?
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The rest of the school day flew by with parents picking up children, especially military families. Our town housed a huge Navy base at the time. When I arrived home from school that day, the television was turned to CNN and my dad was crying. His aunt worked at the Pentagon and we didn't know if she was alright or not. My brothers were too young to fully understand what was going on, but they knew it was bad and our house was somber that day.
I woke up September 11, 2011, and I watched the news with my baby brother who is now 19. I thought about what had changed in those ten years since the attack. I am not innocent anymore. I do not believe that bad things don't happen to good people. I love with all my heart because who knows what tomorrow will bring. I take time to enjoy the little things in life. I pray more. I make time to attend football games and family functions. I talk a little longer to the elderly. I hold the babies in my life a little tighter. I don't take the people in my life for granted because we never know when they might not be around anymore. And I respect my two oldest cousins more than ever for joining the U.S. Marines.
There is, however, one thing that hasn't changed since that day. I still cry. I hear a song that is dedicated to September 11 or see pictures of someone that has lost their loved one on that horrific day and I can't help but weep for the victims, families and our country. Always remember. Never forget.