On September 11, 2001 I was in my senior year at Centennial High School and walked into my criminal justice class and sat down next to Ben Miller. The world as I knew it was about to change. I said hello and Ben didn’t even blink an eye or respond. He was staring at the TV in the front of the room, and I wanted to know what the big deal was, then I noticed the lone tower standing without its twin. As I gazed at the television, I listened to the news broadcaster talk about two planes colliding into the twin towers, and as he was explaining this, I saw the second plane fly into one of the towers on a re-play. Like everyone else old enough to remember, I watched the second tower fall and crumble to the ground. As my classmates and I watched in confusion, my teacher turned to the class and asked, “Are any of you eighteen years old?” I raised my hand and he looked at me and said, “We are at war!” I remember the impact that those words had on me, and I can still hear them echo in my mind as if my teacher had said it fifteen minutes ago.
Fifteen years later whether our society likes it or not we are still at war. Today, as we reflect and memorialize our fellow country men and women that died on 9/11 in both the attacks in 2001 and 2012 we must also remember the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who made the ultimate sacrifice in the War on Terror.
Furthermore, we must also ask ourselves if we are doing everything we can to keep events like this from happening again, especially on our homeland. Because, if we forget the impact of these events and become complacent, my worst fear is that one day our country’s children will have to experience a similar event. To sum up how we need to act as a country can best be described by the Latin phrase Si vis pacem, para bellum translated as, “If you want peace, prepare for war”.
God bless America!