By Emily Braun

Sophomore, Telecommunications Major

September 11, 2001: A day that strikes feelings of remembrance, somberness, and patriotism in the heart of every American. It was a day of terror, a day that sent our nation into a shockwave of panic in a matter of minutes. However, for me, as an 8-year-old 3rd-grader, it seemed to be a perfectly normal day.

Jenna Strobel, 9/11 Memorial, New York

I remember it clearly. I awoke that morning sick, and my mom suggested I stay home from school. That morning, I was sitting at the kitchen table, eating a bowl of chicken noodle soup, when all of a sudden I saw planes crashing into a building on the television. I didn’t know what was happening, but my mom was distressed, desperately awaiting my older brother and sister’s early arrival home from school. A few days passed, and I still saw the same dreadful, seemingly unreal image displayed. With the utmost childlike naivety, I asked my mother why they kept playing this same video over and over again. My mother replied very shortly that our country is in turmoil, but there was no way I could understand.

Twelve years later, looking back, I realized that my mom was right. I was home from school that day. I was not there to see the fear that rattled my schoolteachers into a state of panic, nor the utter confusion that threw my classmates into a stupor. I truly had no idea how quickly our nation changed that day. Families were broken apart. Moms, dads, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends perished in flames, were crushed by falling debris, jumped to their deaths to avoid an inevitable slow and painful one, and called their loved ones on the planes destined to go down to say goodbye. People were running to try to escape the scene of the attack, many trying to evacuate the city. Countless firefighters were rushing over to face the largest challenge of their careers. And all of this was happening while I was at home, completely oblivious to what was going on. It is this thought that, even today, gives me chills. The day evokes many feelings in Americans, but there is one in particular that I feel is the most prevalent today, and that is patriotism. Our country faced this horrific event, and we came out of it stronger than before. We banded together and refused to let the other side win. We look back on this event with the undeniable fact that America still stands. We are still one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Today we remember that by overcoming this tragic onslaught of terrorism, we proved that we can and will always fight to defend our county and ensure nothing ever changes that.