We should have learned something from Sept. 11

September 16, 2009

By Alex Faulkner

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Hall Monitor Alex Faulkner Liberty High School

It was early in the morning, eight years ago, as I woke up from my Pokémon-adorned room. I got out of, no, sprang, out of bed, excited for my day of third grade to begin. As I ran into the family room, I expected nothing less than a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and warm smiles to greet me, but I expected too much.

Solemn looks shrouded the faces surrounding the television. There was not even a glance in my direction.“Alex, something terrible has happened, thousands have died, please sit down and try to understand…” my father droned off in a state of terrible awe.

When I went to school, it was as somber as the house. No one talked; many cried.

It is now exactly eight years and thousands of lives later. Just eight years, and it seems people have forgotten this tragic event that had brought them so close as a nation, as a community, as a family, as a group of friends.

Still, I often turn on the news to find it full of people attacking the government and attacking each other. Still, I walk the streets and see people fighting or yelling obscenities at their community members. Still, I hear of families disagreeing, fighting and splitting. And still, I watch in the hallways of school, where students bully and pick on each other, ruining others’ days or years.

After Sept. 11, 2001, the nation and communities worked together. Families and friends cried in one another’s arms as they mourned lost loved ones. They had a new sense of kindness for others, because they then knew what it feels like to have someone taken away from them.

Think eight years back and about how you felt. Think about the sudden loss of life, about the nation being unified, about communities standing up to help one another, about how you called your family that terrible day to make sure they were OK and about how you treated your peers without hatred.

Eight years later, we should still be gleaning and learning, not disregarding. We should give someone a hug and talk to someone we wouldn’t normally talk to.

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