We ate Chinese food. We sat in the local Panda and ate Chinese food just like it was a regular day. The planes had crashed…the towers had fallen…and we ate Chinese food. Jim announced to the group that we would, “get those bastards!” And we all laughed. And then the room got quiet. “This is our moment. This is the moment that our generation will look back asking, ‘Where were you when…’” I don’t remember who said it, but they were right. The attacks on 9/11 defined more than just my own generation. The terror attacks defined our new nation. We were forever changed. Classes were cancelled for the rest of the day, but no one really knew what to do. Eventually we ended up at the cave watching TV…watching hour after hour of news coverage from the day. There was nothing else to do…nowhere else to go.
When our country began to heal a bit, someone made a commercial that showed a street before and after that terrible day. Words on the screen said that the terrorists wanted to “change America forever…and they did.” In the after shot, the street was decorated with American flags and banners.
So yes…the terrorists forever changed our country on 9/11. We still have scars from that day, but we have something else, too. We have pride. And hope. And a renewed sense of patriotism.