A 9/11 Reflection
It seems like both a distant nightmare and tragedy that happened yesterday. The events that took place on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 still ring loudly in my mind.
I was a freshman at Bishop McNamara High School when the 9/11 attacks took place. I was on my way to 3rd period gym class, under the hoop near the stage, and I was walking with my friend Victor. I remember this vividly. Our principal made an announcement over the PA system giving instruction of where to report and why. I will never forget the words he said next, “The World Trade Center and the Pentagon have been attacked…”
In the 19 years since the terrorist attacks on 9/11, I have grown and my understanding of the world around me has evolved. I have since traveled to other countries, sought out to better understand other religions, and have committed to understanding my role of how I can make my community and the world a better place. I realized very quickly in my efforts to better understand the world as a whole, that regardless of where you are from, your background, and your beliefs, we all deal with the same inherent human issues.
The 9/11 attacks have left a scar on this country that we may never fully heal from, however it provides an opportunity to remember what this country can accomplish when we come together. The lessons of unity and brotherhood we were reminded of 19 years ago need to be employed today. In a world that is more connected than ever and in a country working towards true equality, we need to remember that a unified front is a strong front. I challenge everyone to take time today to reflect on the world around them and to consider what you can do to make the world a better place.
It was inspiring back then, and still is today to have seen this country come together when it was most vulnerable. Now is the time to remember how powerfully inspiring and how much of a force we can be when we stand together. As we, as a country, continue to right the wrongs of our past and lay the framework for a more inclusive and equitable future for all, we must call on the strength of those that have come before us.
My heart continues to go out to all that were impacted by the tragic events of that Tuesday in 2001. To the Firefighters, Police Officers, Paramedics, and countless numbers of other unnamed heroes that served us on that fateful day, thank you. Your courage and leadership is not forgotten. To the families and friends who lost loved ones, I continue to pray for you. To the people in this country, and around the world, of Middle Eastern descent who have endured words and actions of hate, I thank you for your strength.
It is a wild idea to think that all of our students at Saint Andrew’s were born in a post 9/11 world. I hope today provides an opportunity for discussion regarding the importance of a unified country and that we all have the ability to be a part of a positive future for those that come after us.
Jeffrey Southworth is the Director of Advancement & Admissions
Image source: https://www.911memorial.org/