Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never Forget.

Today is one of those few days in history that the majority of people know exactly where they were from 8AM (EST) on. I was in my first period science class in 8th grade at the Atlanta Girls' School. I distinctly remember the phone ringing in our classroom and for some reason thinking, "That phone call is going to be for me." It was. Hearing the words, "Hello, Britton? We are calling to let you know there has been a serious plane crash." (pause) At this point we did not know it was a terrorist attack. Also, right now would be a great time to let you all know that my dad is a pilot for Delta. Hearing those words was one my worst nightmares. Something I was always terrified of hearing. OK, continuing on... "Your dad called and wanted to let you know that he is OK and safely out of New York and in Boston." Breathe. And tears. I was the first student in my school to find out what happened. I was in shock and couldn't even put into words what I had just found out. My dad was (and still is) based in New York for Delta. At that point in time he was piloting the shuttle from New York to Boston and DC. He had happened to fly out of NYC that morning to Boston just before the first plane struck the North Tower.

I remember sitting in a daze the rest of the day. Thankful (for my dad's safety), scared, shocked, sad. My family is very involved in the military and it has always been instilled in me to be proud of being American. This was the first time I realized that not everyone "likes" the US. I didn't understand it. Perhaps I still don't to a certain extent. 

I will never forget that day. I will never forget my immediate feeling of horror when I found out what happened. I'll never forget being told to "Stop crying." I will also never forget never being more proud to be an American than I did in the days that followed. A country that is quite literally a giant melting pot united in a way that no one could imagine. The exact opposite of what those who wished to destroy the American Spirit wanted to happen. I will never forget the bravery of those who threw all caution to the wind and stormed into those towers to save those who were trapped. We will never forget the men on Flight 93 who were brave enough to save possibly thousands more by intervening on their own doomed flight. We will never forget those who worked in our Pentagon who went to the place that is the center of our national security and were attacked. We will never forget the victims. I pray that our country is able to unite that way again and to show the world why this is truly the greatest country to ever exist. 

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