We all remember where we are when breaking news happens, and unfortunately, we've had quite a few in our lifetime. To me, the most memorable is September 11th. Even saying the date sparks some sort of memory. Eleven years later, I'd like to share my memory with you, and how it affected a paranoid ten year old.
My parents were missionaries as I was growing up, but nothing crazy. We lived in England for seven months, and Canada for a year. Dad later made a few trips by himself, but I'm getting ahead of myself! On September 11, 2001, my sister and I were alone at our duplex in England while our parents were grocery shopping. Our parents came home to our neighbors outside telling them to turn on the news immediately. They knew we were Americans and thought of us. They rushed inside and called my sister and I to the living room. Right then and there, we watched the second tower collapse live.
We saw people jumping from windows. We heard screams and cries. We saw the firefighters go in, when everyone else was trying to get out. We heard news reporters trying to make something of it all. It was a moment that I've never forgotten.
I was scarred and terrified. All I knew was someone was targeting Americans, and for some reason, the only thing I thought was that I was the next target. Every completely irrational fear came into my head. I had nightmares of Osama Bin Laden coming to kill me. I could barely sleep, because I was so paranoid. However, the scariest part of all this, I was living in a different country.
There were talks of closing all international flights. My dad still had a contract with the Bible school he was teaching at, and chose to stay. However, he didn't want his family possibly stranded in a foreign country. On October 3, my mom, sister and I were on a flight back to America. Bringing the second most traumatic experience in my life, saying goodbye to my dad before entering airline security. It was a hard time for all of us. We decided to live with my grandparents in Ohio since our home was still rented out until Dad's contract had ended. It was a good experience to be so close to my grandparents, but I missed my dad.
I know most people don't agree with the war, but it's protecting our way of life. By finding and extracting these terrorists, America is safe. Al Qaida is still out there, and still planning attacks against our country. It is our duty as a country to protect the citizens. I know we've lost a lot of soldiers, and that's the worst outcome of any war. However, without those brave soldiers, we might not be the country that we are today. I'd like to express my gratefulness to the men and women serving, and those who served, for protecting us.