Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Remembrance

I'm not big on writing posts that are directed toward any particular person or group of people (except anyone who might be reading this). I didn't have the blog last September, so I thought it only fitting that I write a brief post about September 11th and how it has affected my life.
I was sitting in seventh-period 7th grade Social Studies pretending to copy notes from Mrs. Mulherin's overheard projector slides when she received a memo that we were permitted to stop the lecture and watch the news. It was exceedingly rare in my middle school that the TVs strapped to rolling carts were turned on, and I don't remember a single other occasion when we watched live television. I don't remember much except the kids in my class saying, "Whoooa!" and "Cool!" You can always count on middle-school boys to find any sort of danger, explosion, or smoking apparatus cool. The words terrorists and World Trade Center and Twin Towers were floating around, but it didn't mean much to me. I didn't have a concept of what terrorists were or the kind of damage they could inflict upon millions of Americans. I didn't understand the ripple effect that September 11, 2001, would have on this country or on my life personally.
I'm also not big on engaging in disputes with people about the pros and cons, if you will, of war, or the merits of joining a particular branch of service versus another. I don't feel politically educated enough to weigh in on disputes of which presidents sent us into battle and shouldn't have, or which war was most costly for the U.S., or why certain presidents have served this country "better" in times of crisis than others. I can't quote stats about how many troops are overseas at a given time, and I'll be the first to admit that the names of commonly known terrorist organizations start to run together. I may not know enough to make judgment calls about military actions, but I do know that nobody tells me what I should eat, how I should dress, where I should live or attend school, or what religion I should practice. I respect this country's troops and its government for all that they have given us in terms of freedom and privilege. For that, I am eternally grateful.
I have a favorite quote that I carry with me in my day-to-day to remind me of my privileged status as an American:
If you can't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.
September 11, 2001. United we stand. We will never forget.