Samantha Ghan, staff writer
It has been 12 years since September 11, 2001, twelve years that have just flown by faster and faster as you get older. But 9/11 will forever remain a day of remembrance in our lives. It has left an impact on me and many others.
My personal day of remembrance was while I was in the eighth grade. I walked into homeroom in the middle school in Gibsonton, Fla. I was worried about a science test I was not prepared for that would take place after homeroom. I walked into the classroom, my nose in a book, totally ignorant to what was on the TV right in front of me.
After the bell rang and homeroom started, I looked up just in time to see the second plane crash into the south side of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. After that moment, nothing else mattered. My science test was not important and was canceled. Getting to class was not something to rush about. What I would have for lunch was not my most pressing issue. All the little things became unimportant.
Growing up as a military brat I knew my life and my family’s lives would never be the same. My dad was in the Air Force, now retired. He was an airplane mechanic and had to go wherever his airplane was needed. He seemed to be gone a lot more. My mom, siblings, and I all knew what it is like to not have Dad around. But for me personally, I had dreams Dad was not coming home. I had dreams that would wake me up in the middle of the night. I had dreams he would be deployed and something would happen. I was scared that his plane would be hijacked and another building would go down, this time taking my personal superhero with it.
It wasn’t only my Dad’s time that this war took from my family and me, but also my brother’s time. My brother Jeff joined the Army soon after he turned 18. So far he has served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. My brother is now a different person.
That is a small part of how 9/11 affected my life and members of my family’s lives as well. But what about the United States as a whole? How was this country and its people affected from this attack? How have we changed? What is different because of these attacks?
As a nation we have become more unified. People have banned together. Volunteers went to New York and Washington D.C to help dig out survivors from the wreckage. My roommate’s best friend’s father flew to New York to help. Because of his time there, in the dust and wreckage, he developed lung cancer and later died because of it.
Let us not forget the officers who gave their lives, both firefighters and police officers. Some were trapped and never came home to their families. Fox News wrote an article in July 2013 about the remains of the dead who died in the attack. It says, “Firefighter Jeffrey Walz phoned his wife and his parents on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, telling them he was being called into action, his brother recalls. His relatives would never see him again or even have any of his remains to bury, until now.”
“The city medical examiner’s office said Friday that it had identified some of Walz’s remains, making him the 1,637th person identified among the thousands of remains found in and near the rubble of the World Trade Center after the terror attacks.” This officer gave his life to help dig people out of the rubble. We can’t let these people die in vain. We must remember what they died for.
President George W. Bush declared war on September 20, 2001.
Who went to war? Who were the men and women who were “striking selected targets?” People like my brother. People who would sacrifice anything to keep us safe, even their lives. People who feel they owe it to this nation went to fight to keep us free.
The disaster of 9/11 made this nation stronger. It’s changed us all individually and as a group for the better.