It was my sophomore year at Southwest Texas, now Texas State, in San Marcos when I woke up to get ready for my first class and saw my roommates gathered in the living room in front of the TV. At first, I thought it was a movie but then realized it was live TV. Smoke was coming out of one of towers, Diana Sawyer and Charlie Gibson were trying to make sense of the images when the second plane hit. I started to flip channels and for some reason felt it even more real when I heard the voices of Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas on Univision. Something horrible was happening.
I walked back to my room a bit confused and finished getting ready. I guess it was my attempt to feel normal during the chaos in progress. It was impossible to feel normal when I walked to class, the air that day felt different and the faces of the students were not the same. Students were running trying to get to a TV to see what was going on in NY. There were a lot of empty classrooms that day.
We sat in the student center and watched people jump out of the towers. I sat there and prayed for a miracle and had a senseless feeling of hope that maybe just maybe one of them would survive the fall. No one did. Everyone stood there watching at awe as the first tower went down like dust.
Some students were crying others were too shocked to even move or react. I don’t remember my reaction just everyone else’s.
When I first came to this country I rebelled against having to learn U.S. history. I had a hard time understanding it and to be honest I didn’t have much appreciation for it then because I didn’t grew up in the U.S. I did not feel like this was my country.
I believe history has a much greater meaning when we become part of it. There’s a difference between having to learn everything from a Textbook than actually experiencing it. For the first time that Tuesday morning I felt part of it. Although thousands of miles away I was living, breathing, feeling, and could almost touch history. This was my country as much as it was to the American born here.
I will always remember and cherish the compassion born that day. For me, that is the legacy of that horrible day.
Compassion of every hero that ran in while others were running out… first responders
Compassion of those who lost their life trying to save another… flight 93
Compassion of silent victims/survivors with no name and no voice… immigrants
Compassion of every person to stood up and helped another… citizens
Compassion to every person who lost a loved one… families
Compassion to unite, help, heal, move forward and always remember what happened… our country
On this day and everyday lets remember to always show compassion, and respect to one another. There is so much going on in our country right now that we tend to forget what true compassion really is. Define it. Look for it. Embrace and never forget the power and impact it has in our lives.
Do something compassionate today. Show compassion to someone. This is the best way to pay tribute, always remember and never forget what happened that 9/11.
Take a look at this great campaign paying tribute to 9/11 through service. What will you do?