Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years later

I’m sure being back in the United States - or wherever it is you hail from - you’ve heard this quote, “Where were you when the 2nd plane struck the World Trade Center” a million times. Well I’ve heard it a time or two from where I am. That is a moment in my life I will never forget.

I was a 16 year old junior in high school and I was sitting in my first hour American Government class when the principal came over the intercom. He said that a plane had struck the World Trade Center and we should all turn on the TV’s in our classrooms. We turned on the TV and we all sat there in horror. The bell rang and we had to go to our next class. It seemed like the entire student body rushed to their next class to stare at the TV and make some sort of sense out of all this confusion.

I was sitting in my Algebra 2 class when the second plane hit the tower.  My heart sank. Even though I was still a little young to understand the implications this moment would have, and I knew my life would never be the same. That was a scary yet amazing time to be an American. It seemed as if the whole world had stopped. All after school activities were cancelled. Nobody knew if we were safe, and nobody knew if more attacks were to come. It was amazing to see how our country came together those weeks and months after the attacks. Everybody had a “Proud to be an American” sticker on their cars and in the windows of their homes. My school instantly held fundraiser to help families of the victims of 9-11.  There was a sense of pride and sense that those guys messed with the wrong country.

Ten years later. Holy cow, it’s been 10 years. I never thought I would be in Afghanistan 10 years after I saw that second plane hit. People always ask me “Why did you join the Army?” The answer is I don’t have a clue. I guess I just felt like it was my obligation. I have to serve my country like my great grandfather did in World War 2. Many people take our freedoms for granted and honestly, that’s the way it should be. A young boy should be able to go to a baseball game with his old man and not have to worry about being attacked.

We live in the greatest country in the free world! I know this blog doesn’t have anything to do with baseball but, it has everything to do with baseball.  It is the aftermath of that exact moment that makes me want to go out and chase my baseball dreams.  Do you remember the feeling of the Yankees in the World Series that October? Even people who hate the Yankees felt the pride in the resiliency of the American people. This war has gone on a long time. Being able to go to every big league park, being able to enjoy a beer with my buddies, being able to have a hotdog with my sister makes this war worth it. Just as long as we never forget.

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