I will never forget

By Kaitlin Trujillo
On September 14, 2017

Kaitlin Trujillo

It happened 16 years ago, and I remember it vividly.

I was sitting on a zebra rug in Mrs. Robles’ kindergarten class.

She was reading to us when another teacher came in with a terrified look on her face.

She told Mrs. Robles that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers.

Being only five years old, those words did not have much meaning to me then, but through out the next few days, weeks, and years, those words would echo in my mind.

My mother explained it to me as some bad men tried to hurt America.

I didn’t understand.

Why would someone do that?

We’re the good guys, I thought.

The events of those days shaped the life I know today; they shaped my generation.

After September 11, 2001 I saw the worst in humanity.

I saw the hatefulness, xenophobia, and fear that can fester inside the human heart.

I saw a lot of bad, but I also saw a lot of good.

I watched heroes rise from the ashes, pulling their fellow Americans along with them.

I saw generosity and love, kindness and compassion extended towards the victims and their families.

In the weeks that followed that fateful September morning, Americans united together as one Nation.

In recent days, there is a lot of division in this country, politically, racially, religiously, and more.

We are so quick to label ourselves and categorize others.

We fear what is different and cling to the comfortable.

As the anniversary of 9/11 passes yet again, let us remember that we are all Americans.

The differences between each other should not be hated, but instead should be celebrated.

If we live in fear, we let the terrorist win.

They wanted to divide us; we united.

They wanted us to cower at them; we fought back.

They wanted to defeat us; we are still standing.

I feel privileged to be a part of the youngest generation to remember the day that changed America.

It is a memory that I will carry with me until the end of my days.

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