I was rolling into surgery, loopy and happy from the drugs that were starting to work on me, when I heard one nurse say to the other "a plane just hit one of the Twin Towers" and then I was out. I was young. I didn't know what the Twin Towers were. But I was old enough to understand that it was a bid deal, that is wasn't ok. When I got home from surgery later that morning, I propped myself in front of the TV and changed from channel to channel watching the disaster unfold. I felt helpless. My mom said all we could do at that time was pray. So we prayed all day, out loud and in our hearts and we cried for those who had lost.
When I got back to school (6th grade) I started up a fundraiser to help pay for some of the damaged fire trucks. I went from classroom to classroom with fellow friends and a refrigerator box-turned fire truck, collecting donations in black rubber firemen's boots. Throughout the rest of my primary education I was involve in groups that wrote letters to soldiers, folded flags, helped make care packages for children in Afghanistan. Every year in highschool we took a week to reflect and honor our freedom: Freedom Week. We'd decorate the halls, held an assembly where we honored vets, had inspirational speakers come and we bonded together around the one similarity all of us have: we are Americans.
We may be young or we may be small but we all play a significant part in a bigger picture. That is what I learned from 9/11. That we can all do something, that even if all we can do is pray, we can all do something, and that something will and does make a difference.
I am truly proud to be an American.