Twelve years ago, I woke up to my second day of school. I ate breakfast, threw on my uniform, and left. It wasn't until I arrived in my first period class when I learned of what was occurring on the other side of the nation.
At first, it was so shocking, especially for all of us in Orange County. What happened in New York? A plane crashed into The Pentagon as well? And there's a fourth plane still on the loose?
Eventually, it all sunk in. And September 11 would forever be associated with the events of this day twelve years ago.
Twelve years later, I woke up to this.
Twelve years later, we're still concerned about terrorism. We're still concerned about unbridled hate. We're still dealing with conspiracy theories. And we're still grappling with matters of war and peace.
In the past twelve years, we've experienced some painful moments in history. Yet in the past twelve years, we've also experienced major breakthroughs Who would have guessed back then we'd now have a President named Barack Obama, a still vibrant multicultural society, and real efforts to find diplomatic solutions to the world's problems?
Twelve years ago, this nation endured a horrific tragedy. Twelve years later, our nation still stands. And while there are still many problems facing us at home and abroad, there are also opportunities for us to learn and grow.
Twelve years ago, we were so shocked by what had just occurred that we rushed into two wars. Twelve years later, we may finally be giving peace a chance. Some things may be the same after twelve years, but others have changed.