It’s been a while since I’ve written, so this is exciting! Sorry that I’m a bit late on this topic, but it’s something that means a lot to me.
I was on a plane five days before the attacks of September 11th, 2001, and I was five days away from my first day of kindergarten. As a five year old, CNN was equivalent to violent, gory movies I refused to watch. Yet, my mother was remiss to my presence. In our temporary suite, the phone incessantly rang and the heavy breaths of my mother buzzed throughout. In our mother tongue, I understood everything she said, yet I didn’t. The puzzle pieces never quite fit together. There was fire and screams on screen, and sweat trickling down my trembling mother. All I knew was…it wasn’t good.
September 11th was my fifth day in this country. And almost ten years later, I live in the same town with the same memories. I can still remember the smell of our suite, a sweet stench, and the rollaway bed I was sitting on watching the news. We had just moved from Saudi Arabia, so as a young girl, I still remember the emotions I felt learning that the same region was responsible for this. It was merely tragic.
Year by year, I’ve learned a little bit more about 9/11. Though I refuse to watch the documentaries or read the books, I know enough to have an impact from that day. And although I know the role Bin Laden held, I feel as if it’s almost irrelevant today. Yes, we have defeated the man who represented terrorism, but we haven’t defeated terrorism itself. Though history has been made, I feel as if we should brace ourselves for whatever is to come as retaliation, because even though Bin Laden is dead, his ways are not. I greatly respect our President for his determination and honesty, but regardless of our celebrations in Times Square or at the White House courtyard, nothing is over. 9/11 is still a historical event, and still something engraved into our minds. As we progress to be the oldest generation, we’ll carry the last memories of the day. And as the new generations approach, textbook definitions will replace real insight–and that is a frightening thought.
Although death is a morbid thought to celebrate, I feel that we are one small step closer to where we’re heading for. We should not be proud about the life we have taken, but we should be proud for the stand we have taken against terrorism. Those events on 9/11 didn’t impact solely the victims—they impacted the world and the future. They impacted the way people thought and acted–I can personally vouch for that. As my life in this new country began, I started with a fresh perspective on life—even as such a young child. Today, as I look back on that day, I learn more about myself and the world, and it reminds me of how it changed the course of history.