What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?
The summer before sixth grade my parents and I took a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. When we entered the beautiful colonial town it was like stepping into a history book, or time travelling. People roaming around, doing daily tasks that people in 1700-1800’s would do. When you walked into the buildings, people would comment on your appearance like it was out of the norm, or telling you what was happening in the world, during that year.
I learned so much there, I realized how hard it must have been to leave your country and start anew and fight for freedom you hadn’t had before. I’m sure that there were times then that made them question, “was this all really worth it”? Yes, yes it was. I was mesmerized by the town and awed and inspired. I knew in that moment, this is why I’m an American. I’m so proud. My parents, being patriots before this trip, had refreshed love for this great nation.
I felt a change in my very being from that week, but Williamsburg was not our only stop. We went to Washington D.C. and that ignited my love even brighter. Our country was founded by men who would stop at nothing to protect the people from tyranny and uphold the American flag as a symbol of hope, freedom, and pursuit of happiness. They were people of God.
When we returned home from that trip, I was informed and excited. I told all of my friends who just kind of shrugged it off, which I can’t say I blamed them, they didn’t know my experience. I feel like to become a true patriot is similar to become a born again Christian, when you find the truth in something, it’s unstoppable and when you know, you just know. Since I was quite young then, I could not wrap my head around anyone wanting to hurt us, or our great nation. I just thought everyone loved America or were just jealous. I didn’t know until the day came.
It was a day like any other day. I got up, went to school. Just like any other day.
I was sitting in my art class, working on a project when a lady who worked in the front office came racing in. She whispered to our art teacher and she said, “Oh my God, no.” She turned on the small TV in our classroom and the news came on. It was footage of one of the twin towers falling. I didn’t understand, it didn’t register. I looked at my teacher and she’s crying. Other children looked as confused as I was. I heard friends whisper about maybe getting out of school early, which we didn’t, because we really didn’t know what was happening.
When I got home, my mom was on her knees in the living room, crying, bawling, yelling. She explained that it was a terrorist attack. I felt like someone knocked the air out of my lungs. I was horrified. Here I just went on a trip and discovered who I am, which is a full blown patriot, and now someone is attacking our great nation. It felt personal. It hurt me so much.
I watched President George W. Bush’s reaction and thought he handled the situation with such grace. He was a brand new president when this happened and I can’t imagine what was like, having to make the decisions he made. I give him so much credit for not scaring the children he was reading to. He is a president to be proud of, no matter what your beliefs are or political alignment might be. He knew how to speak when terror struck.
Ever since 9-11-2001 I have been a born again American, you hurt our country, you’re also hurting me.