This I Believe

Karen - Lynchburg, Virginia
Entered on December 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: patriotism, war
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I believe that patriotism for one’s nation is the source which helps this great nation forget about previous strife’s. Patriotism is the unifying of a nation; the feeling that everyone is fighting for one purpose.

September 11, 2001 was the day that the United States was attacked. I remember this day as if it were yesterday. I stayed home from school because I was sick. I woke up that day feeling the soreness of my throat and the warmth on my cheeks from the fever. I quickly put on my robe and ran down the steps to munch on warm pancakes while searching for the remote control. As I flipped through the channels on the television, I stopped to catch a glimpse of the morning news. By this time the north tower of the world trade center had already been hit. At that moment I began to think about all of the people within the building that were suffocating from the smoke. As I continued to watch I saw another plane approach the other tower and collide. Chills ran through my body. At that moment I began to pray for all of the people onboard the airplane and their families. Moments later on the television I began to see what seemed to be rags floating in the wind but, it turned out to be people who were throwing themselves from the windows. I imagined to myself how chaotic it must have been up there that the only way people sought refuge was to commit suicide. I can only imagine the desperation and torment they were going through knowing that they may never see their families again. Tears began to accumulate on my face. I received a call from my mom telling me to call my godmother who worked in lower Manhattan. I tried to call my godmother for hours but the lines were backed up so we could not get news of how she was. The anguish of not knowing whether if she had been hurt was excruciating. Moments later the news showed that there had been another airplane that struck the pentagon in Washington D.C. There was also another high jacked plane in Pennsylvania, but it never made it to its final destination because the people onboard took the plane over. The nation was attacked by a coward without face. In the days following the September 11th attacks, patriotism was so great that it didn’t matter where you were from, what language you spoke, or who you called god. We all felt the sadness for the families of the deceased. American flags flowing with the wind, marches honoring fallen soldiers and firemen, the placing of our hand over our hearts when singing out the national anthem. “America the beautiful” wasn’t just another song in these moments. It actually had a greater meaning. Bumper stickers with “Proud to be an American” became the “it” stamp on a car. That is what patriotism is; pride for one’s nation.