How Has September 11 Changed You?

Yahoo! is asking Americans how September 11 changed them. Below is an account from a reader.

On the fateful morning of September 11, 2001, I vividly recall that I went to work just like an ordinary day. I was a preschool teacher in Modesto, CA. I was enthusiastically preparing for my teaching materials for that day and one of my co-teachers informed me about the attacks of the terrorists in New York and the Pentagon. I told her that I left the house hurriedly and did not have time to watch the early morning news report. I felt so terrified and soon the teachers as well as our preschool children where watching the television showing the horrendous attacks every now and then. All people throughout the world were glued to their television channels to get a glimpse of how the terrorists conducted their revenge in the American soil.

I could say that the United States of America during the 911 attacks became “UNITED” in the true sense of the word. Knowing that America has 50 states with different time zones, weather, political and religious beliefs and even accents suddenly became one nation under God. Everybody became a brother or a sister to one another. Consoling words and praises to comfort one another were abounding all over the nation. In the small town of Modesto, love for the country was felt deeply when people proudly put up the American flag by their windows and yards. Everyone was static to get a US flag pin to adorn their outfit, a symbol of loyalty for the country. All churches conducted religious services in honor of the men and women who perished during the attacks as well as the gallantry of our leaders and the men and women in uniform who were unselfishly offering themselves to save the nation in distress. Not to mention the devotion of the media in covering the unforgettable events as well.

I felt myself becoming totally aware of what is going on around the world. I had long distance calls to my daughters abroad, making sure that they were given assurance that everything will be alright through faith and unceasing prayers. I also checked daily on my youngest son living in the Bay Area making sure that he should be prayerful at all times. As a parent, I felt the intense love that we should give to our children and love ones because life is too short and unpredictable .It was very noticeable that the parents, teachers and children in the preschool became close to each other like families that time. The spirit of brotherhood greatly prevailed. To date, I still keep the magazine published by TIME commemorating 9/11. It is hard to stare at the pictures that shows how people died and how most of them tried to save each other.

Ten years has passed and still, every time September 11 comes each year, I dedicate a portion of my time praying for the innocent lives that were lost. I am now a retired preschool teacher with disability.

My fervent wish forever is… that the United States of America will remain as the strongest nation in the world, brave and steadfast in all aspects letting go of the hurtful memories and unhappy times of 9/11, gradually forgetting the pain and that God will heal the hearts of our countrymen and look forward to a peaceful and a better life ahead.

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