As you all know, it's been 11 years since Al-Qaeda's terrorist attack on the United States of America. Those of us who were old enough remember exactly what we were doing when the attacks occurred. I was in school (it was first period), but I wasn't supposed to be. That particular day I did not have class until 2nd period, but I had recently missed a test for my Anatomy & Physiology class due to a diving meet, so I was in that class, making up the test. In the middle of the class, the teacher from across the hall came in and told us what happened, and we followed the teacher back to her classroom, which had a television. We watched the second plane hit the second tower.
Honestly, a lot of the details of that day are fuzzy to me, because my 17-year old self did not immediately realize the magnitude and horror of what had happened. It took a few days for it to sink in for me. But sink in it did.
I was already planning on attending the Naval Academy. Before the attacks, the Academy was a much less serious decision than it was after the attacks occurred. But I never balked at my decision; I think it may have actually sealed the deal for me, in a way.
I had just started my Plebe (freshman) year at the Academy when the first anniversary of the attacks rolled around. I was so sad that day. I honestly thought a bigger deal would be made about the first anniversary, but it was mostly business as usual. My English teacher (he was one of two teachers who positively influenced me to choose English as my major) didn't teach that day, and let us talk about our experiences the year before instead.
Last year, September 11, 2011, received lots of attention as the 10th anniversary. As it should have. But each year on this day I am bothered at the lack of reverence. Have people forgotten? Have Americans forgotten? Is the war we've been fighting for nearly 11 years something people can go days or weeks without even thinking about? I hope not.
I suppose there's not much point of this post, other than to do something teeny tiny in order to help preserve this anniversary of a moment in our extremely recent history. I know our family will do its part by talking to our children about September 11th (and Memorial Day and Veterans' Day), making sure they understand exactly what happened, who was responsible, and what they can do to help preserve this great nation.