My name is Derek, and I’m twenty years old. I work at a small community college in Brockton, Massachusetts, where I also am enrolled as a full time student. This is my story.
It isn’t often that the students at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, MA are seen together holding hands, or united in fear, and tears. Most students and faculty are looking to get through the busy days, and concentrate on their work. But on September 11th, 2001, the “Community” in our school’s namesake, finally lived up to it’s name.
I was in one of the buildings, making my usual deliveries before 9:00 classes, and I heard a woman telling someone in the hall that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Everyone soon was buzzing about it, and referring it to a horrible “accident” thinking that it was just a mistake.
But after the second plane hit, we knew that there was more to it. And I joined rest of my department (the media department) in setting up TVs across campus. Everywhere, classes were halted and students and teachers alike stood watching the horrible events of that day unfold. Everywhere I looked, I saw people that I’ve never seen together at the same time, and everyone wore a look of either sadness and tears, or complete shock.
We all shared something that day. Not just my school, but the whole country. I look back at it now and find it hard to keep from crying at the true-life horror or the attack, or the heart-breaking effects it had on all of us, and all of the families of the victims.
Nothing hurts me more inside then to see the list of names of the victims from the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and the four flights with which these attacks were used.
However, I had never been so proud to be an American than those months following the attacks. Whether it was the hundreds of American flags and other things decorating houses and cars, or just the seemingly more kind actions of those around me, we had come together as a nation. We mourned together, and we called for justice together. We let the world know what we were made of.
The only thing that bothers me about that is that I look around now, a year later, and see that it’s died out a little. The American Pride is still there, but the way of life for most, has seemed to go back to how it was before.
But for many of us, I’m sure that September 11th will live in our hearts forever, and there will be a part of us that is scarred by it, which will remind us of how we should be, and maybe help us grow as individuals. I know from my own experience, that this past year has forced me to mature, and to grow up faster than I’ve ever had to.