Editor reflects on post 9/11 world

Sept. 11 is certainly a date all of us will remember. Everyone remembers where they were and how they reacted to the tragic events that unfolded on that morning.

I was in sixth grade at the time, just starting out at James S. Wilson Middle School in Erie.

I don’t remember all the details, but I remember sitting in the classroom while the teacher turned on the television to see what had happened.

Most teachers in other schools refused to let their students watch what was going on, but morbid curiosity spread throughout our school.

At that time, I believe the first plane had struck as I saw this unusually tall building engulfed in smoke.

Students were all glued to the television and didn’t know what to believe. Was this just an accident or was it a terrorist attack? To tell the truth, I didn’t know what the word “terrorism” even meant.

The teacher only had it on for a little bit and resumed class, however, and we students were left guessing as to what happened throughout the day. From what I can remember, the school wasn’t in a panic frenzy. Rather, everybody was confused and quiet as to what had happened in Manhattan and the rest of the U.S. where the attacks had taken place.

Later that day, my family and I were watching television all night to finally learn the cause of what had transpired.

There were tons of images and clips of people screaming in the streets. The most appalling images that I watched were the countless individuals who leaped from the building in order to avoid being trapped.

With that, Sept. 11 is an important part of our history, not just for the worst, but also for the best. It made our country much stronger than what it was. It’s unfortunate that newly found strength had to come at the hands of more than 3,000 people losing their lives.

However, after the attacks, the country had never been more unified than at any point in its history.

That’s not to say that before Sept. 11 there wasn’t any patriotism or unity, but after the terrorist attacks, it made us appreciate America. Our pride was at the highest it ever was.

Thousands of men and women lost their lives that day and it made millions come together and stand up stronger than ever before.

I’ve always had the mindset that for every bad thing that happens, there is at least one positive that comes out of it, even in tragedies such as the Sept. 11 attacks.

Unity and patriotism are two positive things to come out of that event.


[email protected]