Eleven years ago today, America was attacked. A nation once thought invincible became vulnerable.
But what defines us is not the crisis. What defines us is how we deal with the aftermath and how we try to instill peace and restore hope to a nation in despair.
That crisp Tuesday morning began with fear and ended with courage. We heard and saw the stories of real life heroes blaring through the television sets of people watching from all over the world. Firefighters ran up the smoke-filled stairwells of the World Trade Center to rescue survivors. Two co-workers saved a woman in a wheelchair stranded on the 68th floor and carried her every step of the way to safety. Passengers on Flight 93 charged the cockpit to take control of the plane, thus protecting the biggest symbol of our government: the U.S. Capitol. A symbol we see everyday.
These are the stories that filled the airwaves. And they filled our homes with hope faster than smoke coming from the World Trade Center could fill America with hate.
We are reminded of patriotism. We are reminded that, when crises occur, this nation of people from all backgrounds and religious faiths comes together as one. On this day, Americans united and sealed a bond this generation will always carry.
As the years go by, history will begin to define the conditions that led to these attacks, and theories will be attached to tragedy. This evil day will be a part of the historical narrative.
But as GW students, as the people who will undoubtedly write this narrative for generations to follow, let us not forget the raw feelings we once felt. Instead let us acknowledge the strength we now have.