10 years ago on this day, I was in grade school. I think it was a Tuesday. During the day, we kids were oblivious to the news until we were putting up our chairs around 2:00pm. I remember that the lights were turned out, and we were waiting for Mrs. B. to dismiss us. Suddenly she appeared in the doorway. Our teacher --usually a cheerful and vibrant woman-- addressed the class with tears in her eyes.
"Today something terrible happened. We are safe, but your parents will explain more to you when you get home."
As I walked through the neighborhood, I wondered what had happened. When I arrived home, both my parents' cars were in the driveway. They had come home from work early-- a sign that something was not right. I walked straight into the living room where both my mother and father sat watching, shocked, as the footage rolled on the television. The images were surreal and terrible. It took hours for me to piece together the story, but I was concerned for my family. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends-- they all lived and working around the city, but they were fine. But my mother had cried saying,
"If they went for the Empire State Building next, or the Statue of Liberty, I wouldn't be able to stand it."
Ten years have passed, but the shock has not worn away. The dull pain of great loss and anger at the violation of our homeland has turned from patriotic acts to aggressive retaliation. It sickens me to think that in the eyes of the world, Americans are more apt to racial profiling and "tightening security" than promoting healing for our broken country. As a nation under God, I pray that those who represent the American people would remember that the United States was founded upon heretofore unheard of principles, and that without His grace and constant guidance it would not be the glorious nation it is today. Let us not forget that our words and actions of today affect posterity for all time. Therefore, let our citizens and leaders treat each other with respect and integrity so that our children will know a civil and morally upstanding world.
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