A year has passed…
I don't think I'll ever forget what I was doing that day. I was running a little late on the morning of September 11, 2001. As I was getting dressed
I switched on the radio in my room and knew immediately that something was wrong. At that moment it was 8:18 AM and no one, including myself, could believe what they had just heard or seen.
I didn't go to school that day. I spent the entire morning glued to the television in horror. It amazes me how much detail I can remember about that day. I can even remember exactly what I was wearing-a black sweater and jeans. I think that maybe what stands out the most to me to me about that morning was the silence. There were always planes and helicopters over my house, but with the grounding of all aircraft everything was dead silent. It was eerie.
I had to leave home to go to a music lesson that afternoon. I remember getting into the car and turning on the radio. There was not a station that wasn't running news about the terrorist attacks. It was just so overwhelming. The more I listened the more afraid I became.
I think that's when I finally broke down and cried. How could this be happening? I had always felt so safe, so secure. Yet in a matter of seconds everything that had seemed to immortal, so immovable had been wiped out. It was all just too much to take.
Well, here it is September again. It doesn't seem like it can be. A whole year has passed and the initial shock still hasn't worn off America. The events of last September 11 were horrible, yet even in the tragedy there has come good. Our country has seen an unparalleled outbreak of patriotism. We have become more aware of the price that comes with liberty and, perhaps because of it, learned to value our freedom even more. September 11 opened our eyes, blinded by riches and security, to the plight of others throughout the world. It has tested our faith and helped us to realize how far from God we have turned.
It has given us a new appreciation for those in uniform who make so many sacrifices that we may continue in our freedom.
But perhaps the most important thing to come out of the tragedy is this: it has taught us to value everyday as a gift that has been given us. We have been taught by the tragedy that life is fleeting and that we need to make the most of the people we love while thwy are with us..
As we look back to the events of last September, I hope that we can all look back with new eyes. Perhaps eyes that are a little sadder, a lot wiser, more in tune with the world around us, and, above all, eyes that are open. If we have come away with that lesson, then we have not been defeated, and will never be defeated.
Through this year we have learned our own strengths and our own weaknesses. And we have learned what is the foundational truth of a democracy: United We Stand.
Lindsey Sherrill is a columnist for The Advance.
By By STAFF REPORTS The Atmore Advance is sponsoring an essay contest, with winners featured in the Sept. 11 anniversary... read more