On that fateful day I was housesitting for my brother and his new bride as they were on their honeymoon in Jamaica. The constant ringing of the phone eventually woke me up and the voice on the other end instructed me to turn on the TV. That voice was my mother calling to inform me that an airplane had just flown into one of the World Trade Center towers.
Stunned by the news, I flicked on the TV to see what was going on in New York. As the reporting was repeating the information for the viewers, another plane flew into another tower.
Life changed at that moment. War became a reality not just a possibility. The United States of America had been attacked and was at war, something my generation had never really experienced. True, there was the Gulf War, but this was on our turf not in some far away land.
Eventually the news would report two more attacks that morning. One plane targeted the Pentagon while another went down in Pennsylvania. The plot would unravel to reveal these attacks to be the work of terrorists seeking to declare jihad on America. These men died as martyrs to all who support the idea of Islamic holy war.
But for Americans, life wouldn't be the same. As the towers crumbled and fell, children lost parents and spouses lost each other. Families were torn apart. As the Pentagon experienced a break in the wall, so Americans lost their sense of security. American life was now filled with fear and uncertainty. And, for a while, life once again became sacred. Family values and morals became a centerpoint of discussion. Even God was sought after once again.
Ten years later a lot has changed. Security has gotten tighter and our defense strategies have gotten tougher. Men and women have boldly stepped forth to volunteer to fight the war on terror that still rages in the world today. On the other hand, airports are emptier, the value of the dollar is at an all-time low, and people seem to care about the lastest Hollywood star more than anything else.
Despite it all, there is a generation that has been forever impacted by 9/11. This generation has lost its innocence but has risen to the challenge to be different, stronger. Above all, this generation sees hope and desires a love that is everlasting.