California wasn’t hit by any terrorist attacks on 9/11/01. On that day California was unimportant — out of the spotlight and a continent away — its only direct relevance to the day’s event as the destination point for the hijacked planes. Those planes didn’t hit me in California, I didn’t work in an office in the Twin Towers, I hadn’t gained clearance to work in the Pentagon — what 6th grader ever had? But in some ways the now-perpetual delay of those planes has led me to reflect over the single most important thing that would have made the planes land on time: awareness of our world.
I recently graduated college and I’m ready to take off. Since 9/11, I’ve been an avid reader of the news, impelled in my desire to avoid learning about places like Afghanistan on days like that ever again, on days when it’s much too late. Regardless of my young age, finding out that there were places in the world where women were systematically abused, children stunted in their growth and development, and terrorists allowed to flourished has encouraged me to discover these ticking-time bombs (or hijacked airplanes) before time.
Next year I’ll begin an internship at the U.S. State Department as I begin graduate school. In time, I aspire to work in the State Department. Maybe, in some way, my future contribution to the stability of the world will be as if those planes had landed in California, safely and happily on a normal September day.