For me it started as I was having breakfast on September 11, 2001. I heard on the news that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. “How could a small private plane cause so much damage?” I thought, because it couldn’t be a commercial plane. There is no way they could make such a mistake.
I continued to get ready to go to the youth correctional facility where I volunteered as an educator for incarcerated teenagers. I then heard there was another plane that just flew into the second tower. “Terrorism!” There was no question now. I sat glued to my television. It reminded me of when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded back in the 80’s. You know there is nothing you can do but somehow you know that to some degree you are connected to this tragedy, because it is an American Tragedy. For that brief moment all Americans become one.
I got dressed and went off to work. I remember how surreal that day was. It was a beautiful day, bright and sunny. There was something wrong though and as soon as I passed the International airport I knew what it was. The planes. There were no planes in the sky. I saw all these FedEx planes just sitting there.
This was one of those moments in history where you knew things were going to change. The power of Hate can drive humans to do horrific acts. I tried to imagine how a person could be driven to such a point. To a lesser extent I see this hatred in faces of everyday people, in their words and actions. Now I’ve had my moments. Things people have done have left me with a bitter taste, but I can’t say that I reached the point of hate. Dislike, frustration, disappointment but not hate. This is where the true power of faith is so important. We should never blame religion for the evil acts people do. Faith pulls us away from hate, evil drives us to it.
9/11 will always be a moment I will look back on, not with hatred but pride in the spirit of people. It is the resilience and sacrifice that defines us. I am and shall always be a proud American.