Sept 11th

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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On September 11th, 2001, life as an American was forever changed. It's said that there will not be a single person in the United States who is not affected by the terrorist acts upon the world trade center, pentagon, and US air traffic. So many lives were lost and so many businesses driven to ruin. It makes you wonder "why us?" and "why now?". It's so very hard to understand what kind of people would be against the American lifestyle; especially when you recognize that our culture is a blend of so many others.

It is also for this reason that we should make sure that we not become prejudice to members of our society simply because of their nationality. This is true even here at Sunnyslope. There is not one student in our student body that should have to deal with any ridicule or hatred because of their race.

Just because someone may be of middle eastern decent, we should not pass judgement on them. Our President condemns a religious group, the Taliban in Afganistan, for harboring terrorists; however, this anger should not be passed on to anyone else at Sunnyslope or anywhere else based on their Muslim beliefs. Being Muslim or being born in Afganistan does not make someone or their family terrorists, nor does it give any student the right to tease another student. Everyone is suffering at this time, so hatred can only worsen the situation.

Instead, it's time to focus on doing positive things for our country. We need to stand together and show that America will prevail. It's amazing to see how patriotic our nation has become. The number one item bought in stores in the last two weeks was the American flag. On doorways, trucks, and baseball fields we can see our colors hung proudly. Also everyone has banded together to raise money to help with the clean up effort in the wake of the tragic events. Sunnyslope can proudly claim to have sent almost $6000 in relief funds....that's not too shabby. This kind of stuff makes me proud to be in the US.

This leads us back to the unanswered question of "why us?". Our country was terrorized because of the rights and privileges that we as Americans value so deeply. The terrorists ultimate goal was to hurt us in a way that would forfeit some of these rights and privileges. They succeeded; our country was hurt. Many say that we were targeted because of our protection of Israel from Middle Eastern groups. The fight over the "Holy Land" has lead many terrorist attacks upon Israel. Our country has had a booming economy and we like to share our wealth and resources with countries that need assistance. We decided protecting Israel was a prerogative that claimed priority in our assistance of other countries. This type of capitalism makes some people angry at us.... people like Osama Bin Laden, the alleged perpetrator of the terrorist attacks.

As a result, we must decide whether we as a nation are ready to give up many of our freedoms in order to make our country secure. Are we ready to compromise such constitutional freedoms, such as the right to bear arms, in order to ensure safety for our people?