I believe that everyone has the power to be a patriot. Patriotism can be the best attribute in a person or the worst. It can be used to heal or it can be used to hurt. September 11, 2001 shows the positive and negative power of patriotism. The terrorists who were loyal to Osama Bin Laden, abducted planes and flew them into the Twin Towers in New York. At that moment, every American citizen became patriotic. People came together from all over the country in a united effort to help as much as they could. People from every background, race, and religion were united for the first time in the nation’s history. The physical and mental damage was tremendous, but the compassion shown that day was greater.
I was in 4th grade when it happened; my teacher burst into the room and said, “The World Trade Centers have been hit.” At that time I didn’t really understand what the trade centers were and how the tragedy would affect me. Later that day, I found out that a second plane had flown into the towers. Then a third plane hit the Pentagon. I wasn’t really frightened by the situation, that is until they sent us home. They never sent us home early unless something really terrible happened.
I remember my dream that night; all of my family was at my Mamaw’s house, when out of nowhere a giant building appeared. Seconds after the building appeared a plane flew into the building; it collapsed and fell on my family and me. That dream really affected me; I didn’t feel safe at all the next day. I just couldn’t believe that anyone could come into our country and kill over 5,000 people.
Since then, over 2,300 American troops have died defending their country. They have fought in Iraq and in Afghanistan in order to protect our rights and freedoms. It’s truly amazing how a tragedy can bring out the heroes in people I had never seen so many American flags until after 9/11. You can still go outside today and see the yellow ribbons, and the people coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan to a hero’s welcome. I am proud to tell people that my brother is an air guardsman. I guess that you could also say that I believe in the power of the people.
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