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Our spirit endures

POSTED August 30, 2011 7:46 p.m.

I remember the day clearly. My husband was getting ready for his 7 a.m. work shift while I stayed in bed drifting in and out of wakefulness. I suddenly became aware that he had stopped getting dressed and was just standing quietly.

My husband’s odd behavior made me sit up and find out what had interrupted his morning routine. He was staring at the television with a blank look on his face. I didn’t comprehend his inaction until I glanced at the screen and saw for myself the very non-Hollywood created destruction happening in New York City.

It was Sept. 11, 2001, and I, like many other Americans, witnessed live and in color the result of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil — the first in the memory of my generation.

As disturbing as watching the twin towers burn and fall was — I think the worst part was listening to correspondents give live reports from the Pentagon and hearing their confusion and then horror as American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into our country’s military headquarters.

Seeing the Pentagon attacked less than an hour after the World Trade Center was hit shook my faith in the belief that everything would be alright. Of course, that is the goal of terrorists — to inflict unending terror.

Thankfully, the attacks did come to an end and 10 years later American is still standing.

Just as Pearl Harbor and World War II defined one generation of Americans, 9-11 has defined another.

The carefree, top-of-world feeling that many Americans personified was tempered with the harsh reality that people hate us. I know many ethnocentric people who really had no idea how others in the world felt about America, its government and culture. On 9-11, their bubble was popped.

An era of fear then took over.

Were the losses of individual freedoms that were legislated after 9-11 and the subsequent wars and American casualties suffered in Afghanistan and Iraq unnecessary and just part of that atmosphere of fear?

Is the divisiveness that is our political system today and the economic hopelessness felt by many caused by the attacks — or our response to them?

There is no definite answer to those questions.

I do know the goodwill that poured out from around the world to those who suffered and lost in the attacks renewed by faith in humanity.

I know that if push comes to shove, democrats and republicans will put away their differences and march side by side in the defense of Old Glory.

I know that in this land of opportunity, the next Golden Era is just around the corner, waiting for America’s entrepreneurs to lead the way.

Over the past 10 years, a lot has changed in the land of the free and home of the brave, but the spirit of America endures.

To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail khacker@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.

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