Long ago in a far away land sat "America the Indestructible." Mommy and Daddy and their sweet little children knew what it meant to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. They honored their country and pledged their allegiance. It was a land full of depression veterans and cold warriors. Its castle on a hill housed not kings, but men with a connection to the land, a talent for leadership, and a promise, made on the Holy Bible, to fulfill.
For this generation of citizens, that ideal country is a fairytale. 10 years ago our way of life and feeling of security went up in the smoke of the twin towers, burned down in the flames that engulfed the four passenger jets in the hands of the terrorists, and died along with the nearly 3,000 people that lost their lives in the attacks. It created a generation of Americans deprived of the sense of sanctuary that defined our country since the unlikely victory in the American Revolution.
On October 16, 2001, the Clear Creek Hilife published their first 9/11 story, written by Chris Kirkham and Lauren DeFrank. The story featured Creek Alumni and told of their experiences of the event just a month earlier.
"The terrorist attacks of September 11 hit the core of our nation, abusing the very freedoms that we have known for all out lives. Every person in our community has been affected in some way, and it is this imperative that we are trying to get across in this story."
Fui Chiang, Creek class of 2001, was a student at New York University who witnessed much of the destruction. Mark Jensen, Hilife sports editor and Creek class of 1986, was living in New York City at the time. Dan Kammer, brother of Mrs. Jeanne Kregel, was at a family reunion in Washington. Each of these people had a unique story to share.
The article ended with an update on the state of the nation.
"As these individual accounts have illustrated, the assaults on America have greatly affected our lives. They have prompted the authorization by President Bush for a partial mobilization of armed forces. More than 20,000 reservists and National Guard members have been called to active duty. More will follow. The Bush administration is almost completely convinced that Osama bin Laden was behind the terrorist attacks. We are currently involved in air raids on the Taliban in Afghanistan. Anthrax is in the mail and our lives are forever changed."
Today, we find ourselves in a very different situation, but with many of the same fears and emotions. The leadership in the country has shifted. The war in Middle East has faded to the background and been replaced by debates over healthcare and debt ceilings. Bin Laden has been found and killed by the highly skilled Seal Team Six. Terrorist plots are uncovered and terrorist leaders are taken down.
We have not, however, forgotten the impact 9/11 has had on the lives of people across the county. This generation of Americans will not be devoid of patriotism. The terrorist attacks unfortunately bred hatred and intolerance. The anger was empowering and instead of letting our world spin out of control, Americans banded together to rebuild the infrastructure, the economy, and the soul of the country. We have been able to retain our resilience and are looking towards the future we play a part in shaping.