I can't believe it's been seven years since the 9/11 attacks. I remember that day clearly. I was walking into school with Joe and Dominic and Dom asked us if we'd heard about the planes that cashed into buildings that morning. I was only half listening to him and thought he was telling some sort of joke. But when I got to first period english the TV was on and the images of planes going into the World Trade Center were flashing behind the reporter who was explaining what they thought was happening. We watched until the bell rang and then the teacher turned off the TV. My next period was history and I clearly remember Mr. Drake telling us that this day would change everything. I remember his facial expressions more than anything and how grim he seemed. I couldn't imagine how the world would change and I didn't believe him really.
My mom and I went shopping after school. We drove over to Fort Union and as we pulled up to the intersection I noticed a man standing on the stone wall holding an American flag. He was dressed in a suit and holding the flag with a certain reverence, in the middle of rush hour traffic. He didn't smile, he didn't wave, he just stood. Most people just stared. Some people honked. I cried.
I miss the feeling of patriotism that swept over the country in the weeks following the attack. That feeling contrasts drastically to the general feeling in this country today. I guess mostly because it's an election year. I just hope that the next time that patriotism sweeps the nation it's not brought on by such a huge tragedy. I will always remember that feeling and try to remember that we really do live in the greatest country on earth.