It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since that fateful morning in September where evil was unleashed upon thousands of Americans. It was hard to imagine, at the time, how anyone would be willing to go so far to destroy so much.
I was in the student building on the campus of Augusta State University the morning of the attacks. I was on a computer in the Phoenix magazine office working on a layout, or surfing, or something. My brother Matt called me on my cellphone and told me that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. He told me to cut on the news to see it. I was intrigued and panicked at the time, and walked feverishly over to the TVs on the second floor. A crowd of over 20 students was watching the news. And then it happened – ANOTHER plane hit the second tower. We were ALL in shock. How? Why? What’s going on? We all sat there, collectively confused at what the images we were watching on TV.
Little did we know that it had only just begun. I was glued to the TV from that point on. There were fears that other planes might strike other targets – the White House, the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, Congress… DC was in panic. We were in panic. If planes could strike the WTC, we feared they might come down in our neck of the woods as well. (The Savannah River Site – a nuclear weapons facility – is within striking distance [no pun intended] of Augusta, Georgia.)We then watched as the plane crashed into the Pentagon… and then the reports of the downed plane in Pennsylvania.
I was numbed by this point. I couldn’t believe that what I was watching on the news could possibly be true. But it was. It was too true.
Days afterwards, we watched as rescuers dug through the rubble of the fallen WTC towers… We watched brave men and women, search for survivors, for bodies, for anything. We watched our country unite, disaster be damned! We were going to make it through this! We weren’t going to let the enemy beat us!
For a few weeks, America was whole again. We mourned together. We prayed together. We stood strong together. We were going to fight back, rebuild. We were not going to let this keep us down.
So here we are… four years later. We are still battling back. Our troops are still in Afghanistan and Iraq. America is fighting a never-ending war against terrorism. 9/11 was the spark that started us down the path we are travelling now. Never forget. They struck us. They provoked us. The killed our citizens. They took our planes and blew up our buildings. They thought they could destroy us and demoralize us, but they only made us stronger. I hate to make things sound like it’s us vs. them, but when you get right to it, that is the way things are today. It is a war of Good vs. Evil.
We are going to win this fight. They are not going to keep us down. They are not going to change our way of life. They are going to lose this battle. God willing, we shall prevail.