Today, I'm just going to talk about where I was and what I was doing on 9/11/2001. I live in California, so when the first tower was struck I was asleep. My parents generally wake up early and listen to NPR while they get ready for their day. When my father heard what was going on, he woke my brother and me up and sat us in front of CNN. This was a really disorienting thing because we never watched tv in the mornings. I remember siting in front of the television realizing what was going on. Watching the footage on loop. Watching the tower come down. Then I had to go to school.
I had four periods in school: History, Literature, Science, and Math. The classes that day were pretty distracted. We either kept watching the news updates, or just talked about how we were feeling. But then I had math class. We funneled into Math and sat down. Mr Allen stood in front of the class and started talking about Algebra and our homework problems. One student asked him if he had heard what happened. And he got very serious and told us that the people that did that horrible thing wanted to disrupt our lives, wanted to make us afraid, wanted to change us. But we should keep living. We beat them by just living our lives and not letting them affect us. And he lectured for a full hour on Algebra.
This is one of the things that stuck with me since that day. If we change because of them, if we fear our neighbors, if we take away our rights, if we live in fear, then we let them win.
Live your life, be happy, do good. Don't let the terrorists win.