I was born on January 8, 1999—two years prior to the terrorist attack called 9/11, a tragic event that truly devastated the country like never before. It sounds insane to me that the tragedy occurred around the time I was an infant, but it sounds even more insane to me that I was given the opportunity to see the monuments in person a couple years later…
Early in the morning on September 11, 2001, a plane suddenly crashes through one of the twin towers in New York City. Cloud explosions burst out from the top of the tower, and a lot of yelling and obscenity arises from the crowd beneath. Without hesitation, the people start running for their lives. They run even faster when another plane crashes into the other tower. And as the towers gradually begin leaning, the most catastrophic scene occurs: the people from the towers start jumping off! I can only imagine the horrible dilemma that they had to go through, which was to either be burnt alive or to jump out of the window only to splat into the ground. Not only this, but “a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.”
All the blame goes to a small Muslim group called the “Al-Qaeda.” They felt the need to take extreme measures in order to spread their religion across the world. America was their primary target because everything that it stands for, that is—“one nation under God, indivisible with liberty, and justice for all,” goes completely against their beliefs. The terrorist group admitted that they “killed nearly 3,000 people, making it the worst attack on the United States in history,” in other words, war was declared by them.
I practically said yes to every opportunity I encountered when I was in high school. Eventually, I found an opportunity to travel to the east coast to visit historical figures, one of which was the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. The memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, where the Twin Towers were once standing.
When I visited the memorial, I saw the reflecting pools in which the water flowed down into something that looked like a maelstrom. I notice a plaque surrounding the pools, and saw small American flags attached to the names of the victims.
Of course, each small American flag was there to commemorate each victim;but most importantly, its purpose was to remind the people that the victims were Americans, and that 9/11 could have killed them as well–it literally could have been anyone. Therefore, it is vitally important to honor those were unlucky, those whose lives were unfairly taken away, and those who could impacted the world for the better.
As I looked at the reflecting pools, I admired the water, which looked like bits of crystals flowing down to the center. The construction of the pools was symmetrical and precise because each wall seemed to have the same measurements. I felt a deep appreciation for the memorial as I looked around and saw different faces ranging from a variety of skin tones—I saw the American people together as one, appreciating the memorial just as much as I was.
There are a lot of memorials across the nation, including in other countries; but the September 11 Memorial and Museum, at least to me, delivered the message stating that is always important to remember the past not only to prevent it from repeating the same scenario because anything spontaneous, like 9/11, can occur at any time. Last but not least, live life to the fullest is what I ultimately got out of the memorial.