11 years ago, about an hour ago was when my mother shushed me to listen to the radio better. She couldn’t believe it: apparently a plane had crashed into one of the WTC towers. It wasn’t until she had dropped me off at school when we learned about the second one. People didn’t know what to think. My classmates, 11 and 12 year olds struggled to make sense. I asked my P.E coach what she thought and she was probably the only one in my school who was pro-military. One classmate was a wreck because she feared her uncle was going to die and got scolded for using her cellphone in class. That week, my mother, grandfather and I saw the play 1776 and went to synagogue for a special service and it was the first time I saw two close family members cry at the same time. I failed to fully appreciate the depth of patriotism they felt.
My mother explained to me that as an immigrant, you have a deeper appreciation for American values..you take less things for granted. And my grandfather has seen a lot more (he nearly joined the RAF during WW2 except he was 1-2 years too young). That was when I first felt what it meant to be an American. “One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”