On the morning of September 11, 2001, at 6:30 a.m., my radio alarm went off just like every other normal school day. I laid in bed for a few minutes, not wanting to get up, as I listened to the radio. They were playing the national anthem, definitely not normal. I got up, brushed my teeth, then I heard "terrorists" and fragments like "hundreds died this morning when-" coming from the radio. I immediately rushed back into my room to hear that terrorists had boarded three planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon.
I flew upstairs and turned on the TV to CNN.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw next. The World Trade Center Towers were in flames, people were jumping out of the windows, and there was much noise in the background as the reporter talked. I felt my knees give as I plunked down on the couch. The phone rang, but I wasn't paying attention. The next minute my mom ran into the room and sat down. We sat there on the couch stunned, as the woman on the TV told us, blow by blow like a punch in the gut, what had happened that morning. It was the story that no one wanted to hear, but everyone knew. That morning at 8:43 a.m. American Eastern Standard Time several terrorists boarded two United Airlines planes and crashed them in to the World Trade Center Towers in New York, N.Y. One other plane was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon. Like a spider in the back of your mind that weaves a web of fear over your heart, this story gave me a chill as I imagined what it might have been like to be on one of those planes.
Over the weeks I followed the story, as the rest of the country did. I clearly remember the broadcast where President Bush told the country on live television that we would be going into war. My mind quickly focused on an image of my dad. He is a CW3 (Chief Warrant Officer) and Apache pilot in the United States Army, stationed in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
At the start of the Gulf War, I was but two years old. I remember one night when Mom and Dad were listening to the TV attentively. They were posting the groups of soldiers that were going to the Middle East. The last group they called was my dad's battalion; he was going to war.
I remember the crying, and the hugging, but I didn't understand what was going on; it made me upset and I started crying as well (I was only two). The day my father left, my mother had tears streaming down her face. They hugged and said their goodbyes, and then he kneeled so he was at eye level with me. I didn't know where he was going or why, but even at such a small age in my heart of hearts, I knew I wouldn't see him for a long time. "Daddy is going to fight the bad guys," he choked, gave me a hug and said, "I love you, sweetie." He stood up and began to turn when I burst into tears, rushed to him, and hugged his leg. He said he had to go, so I gave him my favorite stuffed animal, and he gave me a pin. Then he left.
You see, my mind came back to those sad moments, and it made me wonder if it would just happen all over again. Would he leave and I never see him again? That night I asked God not to send my father out to war again. After a few days I called my dad. As he answered the phone I let out a big sigh. We talked for a bit, and he told me that he wouldn't be going to Afghanistan or Palestine, or anywhere near there anytime soon.
Every night I pray that the soldiers in Afghanistan and their families are kept safe and comforted. I hope that their country is very proud of them. I don't believe that anyone on those planes that crashed deserved death and Osama bin Laden doesn't deserve life. While that may not be for me to decide, I'd like him to feel all the pain and suffering of the families of those that died in the attack on America on September 11, 2001. I once read somewhere that many who deserve death live, and some of those who deserve life die. Now I know that it couldn't be more true.