Anyone can tell you where they were on September 11, 2001. I was in my fifth grade classroom during social studies class with Mrs. Peterson. The secretary came around saying to turn on the TV – a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. When we saw two flaming buildings from our screen, my teacher said “Terrorism” and I remember thinking, “What does that mean?” Unfortunately, we’re all too familiar with the term nowadays.
Working in New York City for over a year now, I do get a little nervous heading to midtown on the anniversary of those horrible attacks. My mom tells me she’s glad when I get out of the city for a holiday weekend. But that’s what they wanted – for us to be afraid.
Americans have shown they’re not afraid. Take the recent incident where three American men – Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone, and Alek Skarlatos – stopped a gunman who opened fire on a high-speed train en route to Paris from Amsterdam. Along with two others, they tackled the gunman and averted a massacre. They were brave, and we all have to follow their lead to take action.
Yesterday, the day before the 14th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, a rainbow appeared that seems to come from the new Freedom Tower. It was beautiful.
To remember 9/11, we’ve gathered up some powerful quotes from that day to remind us that we are brave.
1. “Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward and freedom will be defended.” – President George W. Bush
2. “The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.” – Rudolph W. Giuliani
3. “Americans never quit.” – Douglas MacArthur
4. “Commending the victims to almighty God’s mercy, I implore his strength upon all involved in rescue efforts and in caring for the survivors.”– Pope John Paul II
5. “True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.” – Clarence Darrow
6. “We’re going to find out who did this and we’re going after the bastards.”– Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
7. “What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.” – David Levithan
8. “If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” – Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl
9. “Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend–even a friend whose name it never knew.” – President George W. Bush
10. “The worst terrorist attack in American history also brought out the best in our country…We are United as Americans.”– President Barack Obama
11. “Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.” –President Barack Obama