I remember before the tragic events of September 11, I was never patriotic at all.  I never really owned an American flag, and I never was in a hurry to get one.  I also took advantage America’s freedom.

I remember how much I hated politics and politicians.  I always felt they were liars and cheats.  I didn’t like Clinton, not because he was morally wrong, but because he lied about what he did.  So what if he had sexual affairs with someone else.  If the public finds out about it, he shouldn’t lie about it.  That’s a way to lose the public’s trust in someone.  I also read somewhere that Lyndon Johnson was the president that started sending troops over to Vietnam which I read was a war that American Troops shouldn’t have fought in the first place.  Richard Nixon was good at ending that war, but than he steals from Watergate in the Watergate Scandal.  So I guess you could see why I was never into politics, they just always seemed to be up to no good.

I’m only 21, so the only war I’ve been through was the Gulf War (which I hardly knew anything about.  I just knew that Sudaam Hussein, who hates America, was involved and that it was fought over oil).  I was 13 when the first bombing at the world trade center occured, I was 15 when the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City happened, and I was still young and dumb (I cared but not as much) when those kids shot up their schools.  I cared about those tragic events, but after the reporters stories on them were over, I turned the other way like they never happened.  Not concerned by it at all.  As a matter of fact, I made jokes a lot about violence like that.

       That all changed after september 11.  I may be 21, but it wasn’t until then when I woke up to the reality of how horrible this world can be.

When I first heard about the tragic event (I was chatting with someone online, they told me about it so I turned on the TV) I didn’t think of the people at first, I’m into marvelous looking structures, so of course I thought of the building first.  I didn’t know what to think when I saw Bush come on and announce that it was a terrorist attack on the country.  I was saddened about it yes, but not as much.  But Bush caught my attention because of how good of a speaker he is.  He helped me realize what was going on was horrible.

I didn’t start to care about what went on until the next day.  My mom and I were going to the dentist.  I heard a country song by Dwight Yokam that was mixed with sound bites from the day before.

My mom and I were talking, and a sound bite came on about donating blood.  She was saying we should go donate, and I said I would, but I can’t stand needles.  She told me it’d be for a good cause, which I already knew and I told her that. 

That night I went into work.  Later on that night I was thinking about the events and the victims.  And I was feeling really depressed.  I felt bad that I didn’t donate blood at all.  I felt that I needed to do something to help the victims out.  The next day Walmart (where I work) started taking up money donations to help the victims out and the rescue efforts.  I donated a whole 50 dollars that night!!  And I am still donating money every chance I get!

I also wanted to get an American flag that night.  But they were all sold out (of course).  By the end of the week, I went to crafts and bought some red, white, and blue ribbons and had a CSM friend of mine make up some ribbons to wear.  I wanted to promote how I felt about the country now.  If I knew the colors to promote my feelings about the victims I’d be wearing those too.  Some of the ribbons I had the CSM make were sold for $1.00 each (proceeds going toward the relief funds).

When we started getting some patriotic stuff in, I bought a patriotic t-shirt, license plates, bumper stickers, and some small flags.  Waiting to get a bigger flag.  We haven’t had any of those in for a while.  once we get the big ones in we sell out in 5 to 10 minutes!

Whenever I see Bush on TV or the radio giving a speech, I listen.  I want to hear him speak.  Out of all the politicians I couldn’t stand, he changed my mind on the world of politics.  Now I think I’ll go register so I can vote for him in 2004!  All the things he says America’s gonna do in this new war, I agree with.  I CAN NOT STAND TERRORISTS 100%.  Get rid of them all.  First starting with the Al Quada network, the one behind the tragic events of September 11, lead by Osama Bin Laden (Get Him, Bush!!)  I think it was a good idea for Bush to declare war against the taliban, and when he did he also said we were gonna drop food supplies to the Afghan refugees to show how much America cares.  Some people thought that was a bad idea.  I didn’t.  That’s one of the best ideas I ever heard from an American president!

Now-a-days, I don’t take advantage of my freedom.  Four words said by Bush on September 11, I will never forget.  “FREEDOM WILL BE DEFENDED.”  I saw that on a license plate.  I bought it and I put it on my mom’s van for her birthday.

I don’t think I ever listened or cared much for patriotic tunes (no matter who is singing them) until that tragic day either.  Now my favorite tune (mixed with september 11 sound bites) is “God Bless The USA” by Lee Greenwood.  Every time I hear that song (even the original mix) it puts tears in my eyes.

I don’t know what my favorite symbol was before, but now it’s the statue of liberty or the bald eagle.  One of my favorite pictures (got a copy of it on my computer) is one that’s been getting around on the net a lot, it’s the one picture that has the bald eagle with a tear in his eye, and the New York City skyline behind him.  I think it shows an American flag on it too.

So in closing, how much have you changed since 9/11/01?  I conclude I have changed a whole lot since that day.  And a lot of people do see the change.  I wonder how much the rest of America has changed.

Freedom was attacked by a faceless coward wanting to kill innocent people to show his hatred on America.  That day he thought he’d kill our spirits by destroying two buildings of importance to America.

He didn’t realize that the spirit of America isn’t buildings or people in general.  The spirit of America deals with freedom, and it will be defended!  This is a new kind of war in America.  Where a country doesn’t have to surrender to another, but a group of people have to surrender.  The terrorists.  Who can be hiding anywhere in the world.  Somewhat In the words of George W. Bush, “This is a new kind of war in America.  It won’t be an easy war.  It will be a hard war.  And it will be a long war, will last for possibly years.  And in the end we will not lose.  We will not fail.  WE WILL WIN THIS NEW WAR ON AMERICA!!  Freedom Will Be Defended!”


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