I remember the day clearly. It was September 11th and I was sitting in Dr. Marshal's 2nd period 8th grade Social Studies class. Dr. Marshal was a dedicated teacher, one of those men whom made his money and decided to pass his knowledge on to the youth of the nation. His demeanor normally was very, very consistent; calm and dry.
We had a tiny tubed television mounted in the corner of the tiny trailer classroom. It was the only classroom in all of the school with cable because it was recently assembled due to the growing school district. Dr. Marshal received word of the news and immediately broadcasted the unfolding events to us children. He was shaken up and his voice crackled while explaining to us that we are now witnessing a historically tragic event for our nation, for the world. This was the first time in my short life that I felt helpless and insignificant. A crash course life lesson on how easily my bubble of family and friends could be taken from me.
The significance of that moment would resonate through various moments of my life. When I enlisted in the USAF, I thought of this day. When I struggled through basic training, I thought of this day. When I deployed, I thought of this day. Dr. Marshal was right when he told us we would never forget this moment. For myself, this day reminds me to remember what is important and to dig deep while going through an obstacle in life.
The strength of our nation in mourning was incredible to witness. There isn't a doubt in my mind that America still possesses that ability, even in our political turmoil present day, we are all apart of something bigger than ourselves. 9/11 has vastly different meanings for people of all ages and experience... but collectively we mourn the losses of loved ones and remember the heroes that sacrificed selflessly that day... the heroes that sacrificed selflessly overseas. With great loss must come great resilience in order to channel that energy into strength... into purpose.