On September 11, 2001, I was in downtown Atlanta at Georgia State University. I had just gotten out of my first class and was walking to my second, a little confused by the hushed voices and hurried movements in the hall. As I got to the door of the classroom, I was greeted with a sign stating that class had been canceled due to an emergency. Confused, I went upstairs to find a group of students crowded around a television set. The news anchor said that an airplane had hit one of the Twin Towers.
I was sure it was an accident. It had to be. They weren’t even sure what kind of airplane it was. A bit shaken but overall not too worried, I crossed campus to the bookstore to hopefully find a more relaxed environment. It was there that I got into a conversation with another student and we watched, horrified, as a second plane hit followed by the two towers eventually coming down.
I hurried home as fast as I could, riding the MARTA train and listening to conspiracy theories that Atlanta was the next target. I made it home and ran upstairs, gluing myself to the television as I tried to get through to as many friends and family as possible to make sure everyone was okay. It was a day I will never forget, and I wasn’t even directly affected.
My heart goes out to all the families who lost a loved one or are still suffering the impact of 9/11 in another way. It is a terrifying thing to know that there are people out there who despise this country so much that they will die in order to hurt innocents and hurt the United States. It’s sad that so much racial profiling followed 9/11 and because of the actions of a few, a large mass was (and still is) discriminated against. It’s sad that it had to happen in the first place and we didn’t(or couldn’t) do enough to stop it.
What we should be focusing on is not whether or not 9/11 was a conspiracy, not whether or not we can trust certain religions ever again, and not on further dividing ourselves in our community and nationwide. We should be focused on the fact that we faced tragedy and terror and we overcame it. For a little while there, this country felt unified. We should desire to get that unity back. We will never all see eye to eye, but if we can unite and accept each other rather than constantly tear each other apart, we can strengthen this nation and make some real good come out of the tragedy of 9/11.