Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 - What? So What? Now What?

I traveled to New York City in July of 2007.
Here is a photo I took of where one of  the
World Trade Center Twin Towers stood.
They were still cleaning out debris
not quite six years after the attacks.
What?  Today is September 11th and 11 years ago there were terrorist attacks on the United States that forever changed the United States's future and history.

They always say you'll never forget where you were on September 11th, 2001 and I guess "they" are right.  I was a junior in high school and before first hour began I was sitting in a hallway with some friends talking when another friend came up and asked if any of has heard the news that a plane hit one of the World Trade Center Twin Towers.  None of us had heard because we'd arrived at school before it happened.  We then proceeded to our first hour class where we found out from our chemistry teacher that a second plane had hit the other Twin Tower.  Soon after class started, which consisted of watching the news in the classroom, a plane hit the Pentagon and a little later, another in Pennsylvania.  It was a crazy day.  No one knew what was going on and how the United States was going to respond.

My youngest sister at her
Iraq deployment ceremony in June of 2008.
So What?  So what should we be doing to remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Take pride for being an American and realize that freedom isn't always free.  I've always been proud to be an Iowan but I do have to say, after September 11th I have more American Pride.  My American Pride has only grown as both my youngest sister and brother-in-law began their careers in the military.  My youngest sister joined the Army National Guard when she was seventeen.  She served one tour in Iraq and is currently in her eighth year of service.  My brother-in-law joined the Marines after graduating high school & served two tours in Iraq.  He's now in the Marine Reserves & is a police officer.

Now What?  I thought it was very fitting that yesterday Iowa's Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds announced a new volunteer initiative.  Their "Volunteer Iowa:  A Call to Service" goal is for Iowa to become the national leader in service and volunteerism by 2015 (currently Iowa ranks second in the nation for percentage of population who volunteer).  One way of accomplishing that is through their "What's Your 50?" campaign.  Iowans are likely to volunteer but their volunteer hours are less than the national average.  The "What's Your 50?" campaign challenges all Iowa's to increase their service activities to 50 hours per year.  I hope you find something new to volunteer at or that you increase your volunteering efforts this year.  I love volunteering and am very proud of groups that I volunteer for such as my church, 4-H and Make-A-Wish!

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