Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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As I watched the horror unfold on the morning of 9-11-01 all I could think of was that I felt I was in the middle of a dream. No, I was in my Psychology/Sociology class and they had just turned all of the TV's on just in time to see the buildings of the World Trade Center on fire and soon collapse. I was so afraid the scene of the buildings falling to the ground made my body freeze as I stared endlessly into the TV. When the reporters speculated that this might have been a terrorist attack, many questions raced through my head. Who could hate us this much? Instead of going to college in the fall of 2002 would the U.S. now be going to war? Would I have to go? Could I be brave enough to fight in a war? That morning was so typical in my life as a senior at Athens Drive.

I would wake up, eat breakfast and drive my brother to school. Now something so surreal had happened I felt like I couldn't concentrate. All I could think of were the people that suffered and why they were attacked. What had they done to any of those people? Will our lives ever be the same? In these troubling times in our society I can honestly say that the terrorist attacks have affected me the greatest of anything in my life. I think the way our country has pulled together in this time of feeling vulnerable and violated is the most patriotic sight I have ever seen in my lifetime. I know that as the events that follow the attacks on Afghanistan proceed the faith in our president is the best course of action that we the people can do. Seeing as this has been the biggest attack on America, since Pearl Harbor, and how the attack against us is still going on by the anthrax in the mail we the people must come together to show support for the red, white and blue. Patriotic means nothing without the people that sacrifice for our country that makes us free. If it wasn't for the firefighters that gave their lives the death toll would have been much greater than it was. The most important aspect of being a patriot is that you the individual would sacrifice for the need of the country. In doing so those firefighters didn't see a terrorist attack or an opportunity to become a patriot they saw people in danger and did their job to the best of their ability. By their unselfish acts is what makes a patriot a patriot. This is the opposite of what these terrorist are trying to do by being marders for an unjust cause and having the audacity to not even take responsibility for their actions is even worse. Their idea of instilling fear just makes the country come together as a whole and awaken a sleeping super power of a nation.