Remembering 9 years of History

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Twin Towers in Beijing, China

After living abroad for the summer, the short North American history is in stark difference to the long, convoluted histories of other countries.  Usually, Native American history can be summed up within one chapter of a school textbook, giving it a false shortness.  However, most people consider the start of North American history to begin with the pilgrims.  Unfortunately for the Native Americans, they don’t get as much credit as they deserve because they did not document their history as well as the white man.  If it’s in black and white, then it’s historical.  One day, all these blogs will be historical.  If you don’t put your name on it when you find it, you’ll never be recognized posthumously – just ask all the great inventors that got jipped by the runner-up who was smart enough to put his or her discovery down on paper.  If you want to be remembered, you’ve got to write it down.  On national holidays like 9/11, North America’s brief history flashes through my mind.

We don’t have structures that date back to the B.C. era, and in so many other ways, the U.S. is like a child.  How did such a fledgling nation become one of the most powerful and influential forces on this planet?  It is remarkable to think of our achievements – all thanks to the men and women who have put their life in harms way so that the more than 300 million citizens can live freely.

Nine years ago, I was still in middle school with my polo shirt tucked into my khaki pants with a belt cinched on my baby waist. I was riding the school bus and we just arrived to the school.  I usually kept my head low and watched the buildings pass by slowly through my window.  We had arrived at the school, but all the kids were talking about one thing, which alerted me that something was wrong.  If you have a bunch of middle school students on a bus, they will never be talking about the same thing.  Children’s attention span would never allow such a single-minded thought to pervade an entire school bus.  Normally, there would be shouts and singing.  Someone would be talking bad about someone else.  Another child would be rapping.  Some would be trying to copy homework answers and quizzing each other in preparation for the day.   Not today.

I remember the rumors, but I did not believe them.  I sat down in Mr. Underwood’s geography class, and he immediately turned on the TV.  He said, “History is being made today.”  That was the hardest history lesson I have ever learned, but it is one that will carry with me for all my days.

Thank you to all the heros that acted bravely on 9/11 and all those that have since helped unite our nation.

Where were you on 9/11?

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