Affects of September 11th We are all Americans in our

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Affects of September 11th We are all Americans in our hearts, despite where our ancestors may have come from, or what religion we practice. From Europe to Asia, we have thrived because of this mix of individual societies and cultures coming together to form one great one, the United States of America. Unlike other great powers of the past such as Greece and Rome, the U.S. tolerates all peoples from all walks of life. We celebrate our differences and what makes each and everyone of us unique. Some say it's only a matter of time before our acceptance to different cultures will cease to exist. The possibility arose nearly a year ago, on September 11, 2001. In the year since that attack on us, and our way of life, we have had to make a choice that would determine the future of this nation, whether to love each other in spite of a cowardly attack, or use it to judge one another and tear each other apart until there is nothing left of what was once the great democracy of the world.

As soon as the attacks had taken place every individual already had their own way of grieving through this time and loss. No one could remain tied to themselves and their own emotions. We cried for our lost brothers and sisters together. As one nation, we would have to heal our wounds together. Unlike so many instances before where a tragedy would really only hurt a scarce number of people, this one touched every one of us in some way or another. In our darkest hour we shed our dignity and held close to each other, there was nothing else to do. We often become closer when we allow people to see our weaknesses, there was no sadder moment in our nations history than on September 11th. Through our tears though, we saw what could be, a world rid of terrorism, and able to live in peace with the constant threat of extremist groups throughout the world. There we stood, torn, and broken, but we picked up our broken hearts in the hope that tomorrow would be a better day, not just for ourselves, but for our children as well.

September 11th will be my generations JFK assassination, or Pearl Harbor. It's what we'll talk to our grandchildren about, and will remain with us always. Never before had so many kids my age have something to cling to together, something to grasp, and cry about as one. In the days proceeding September 11, we all felt hurt, scared, and vulnerable. These emotions didn't end with age boundaries though. They spread through our age gaps, and across social lines. A tragedy of this magnitude hadn't occurred since Pearl Harbor, this was something entirely new to most of the country. Some released this unknowing anger, and ignorance through continued bombings of mosques, and Islamic places of worship throughout the country. Others came together for prayer and forgiveness, and above all to pray for a better tomorrow and more peaceful today.

The Terror of things that we aren't used to have always been around. They are foreign and unfamiliar. One way to deal with this horrible force on our hearts and minds is to shut it out, and all that comes with it. The dark and mysterious Islamic religion came as the target this time, because the supposed twenty hijackers all practiced an extreme form of this religion. In a religious comparison they are to Islam, as was Timothy McViegh to Christians around the world. Multiple accounts of raids, and bombings of mosques across our country followed the September 11th attacks. The stitches of freedom of religion that held this country together seemed to be coming apart at the seams. Hate and anger spread to not only those who practiced Islam, but to those people who had a middle eastern background, despite the fact that they may have been born and raised in the U.S.A. It seemed logical to some that if we rid ourselves of these kinds of people that we would all feel safe again, and able to go to an airport without being afraid, but that would never be. The initial shock and devastation eventually wore out among the masses, and we were able to open our eyes and realize love, not hate will heal our wounds. An excerpt from a quote of Dr. Martin Luther King represents this well: Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. Hopefully we will see the error in our ways and realize that we have to love each other, not continue our hatred.

On the other side of the spectrum people from all walks of life found comfort in each other. For the first time neighbors talked, churches conversed, and people spoke to one another. We all found solidarity in our sadness, because this wasn't just an isolated incident only important to us, the entire United States of America was attacked on September 11th. The masses chose to come together, unite, and celebrate our differences, despite what the hijackers may have wanted. We chose not to let our fear drive us to question on another and rip this country apart at its seams. Our great country would not fall at this point in time, but rather we would use this tragedy as a way towards continued unity and growth. In the year since the attacks we've come to understand that this country will not stand if we do not stand together behind it. If you were to ask me what affect the attack had on our nation, I would say the attacks only aided in our countries continuous fight towards tolerance of all peoples and the fundamental rights that the U.S. was founded on.

Someday the U.S. may, and probably will fall to meet its glorious end. I don't see that happening for quite amount of time though. The United States of America was given a new hope, and purpose on September 11th. We now have something to pull together and strive for. This isn't just a one-man fight, we are united and will remain so in order to see our great country rise out of the dark shadow of terrorism. We have been hurt, and our trust has been broken, but from this period of American history onwards, I only see continued unity. When asked the question if our country came together to love one another in spite of a cowardly attack, or if we would use it to judge one another and tear each other apart since that fateful September morning. I would say we chose to come together, the red, white, and blue has never held so many dreams and passions before. A renewed sense of purpose is here to stay. Yes, one day the U.S. will reach its peak much like Greece and Rome, but our glory will never fade. I think that perhaps right now we are in our highest moment of glory, but behind our flag stands millions of people waiting to fight for its cause, peacefully. The U.S. has risen out of tragedy before, and we can and have done it again. September 11th will forever remain embedded in our hearts and minds. God bless the U.S.A.