I learned of evil and true hatred on the eve of my thirteenth birthday. After 9/11, things in America changed; New York City especially. I saw things I never imagined were humanly possible. Watching store owners dance and cheer in the streets of the city they make their money in over a senseless tragedy really opened my eyes to hate. I used to go in those stores and pay them with a smile as I left. Did they feel no remorse? Were they thinking about our faces as they ripped apart the lives of so many?
The day before, one of the store clerks asked my mother if she worked in Manhattan or if I went to school there. She said no. He said “OK.” Nothing more. Was he warning her? I’ll never know. Turns out the FBI caught him and discovered that he was one of the main suspects. You never know who you are living with in your own neighborhood.
When people complain about being searched at airports or high traffic areas, I can’t fathom why. I would complain if we weren’t being searched. You really can’t trust anybody and I like to know that our country is being taken care of. Safety plays a big role, not only in this country but in the city of New York. To be quite honest, I don’t feel safe here. We’re like the biggest bulls eye for terrorism and the thought of another attack frightens me. It just saddens me that we have to be weary of terror. I don’t live in fear, but I’m always conscious of it. It infuriates me that people are so concerned about their privacy, yet they’re on Facebook and Twitter posting inappropriate things for the world to see. The way I see it is if you can post sexually explicit details about yourself online, then you certainly can get a pat down at the airport.
For those who weren’t in New York during 9/11, it’s really hard to try to describe what that day and the months leading after it were like. The smell lingered around for months; the shock still traumatizing.
As I watch the construction of the Freedom Tower from my bedroom window, where I once used to have a view of the World Trade Center, I can’t help but marvel at how brave we are. I may voice my distaste with this city pretty often but at the end of the day, we are warriors. They knocked us down but we came back stronger, braver, wiser. We’re rebuilding higher everyday. It may have taken us 12 years, but we did it, and that’s all that matters. We are closer to the clouds up here with God, and we all know that He sees everything.