9/11: A Day That Brought Unity


United States Flag Flying High.

Grace McIver, Writer

The horror of watching a plane crash into one of the twin towers, believing it was a grave mistake. The United States all came to a halt as the news played in every city, and everyone watched another plane fly straight into the second tower.

In that moment everyone realized that this was not an accident.  

“9/11 is a day of reckoning, a day of sorrow,” parent and veteran Steve Villanueva said.  “It turned into anger which turned into resolution. Deciding to do something and bringing everyone together,” 

When the nation watched this happen many believed it was a calling. Many wanted to enlist or join back into the military. 72,908 joined the reserves in the year following Sept. 11, and 181,510 enlisted. They all saw the calling of wanting to find the people that did this.  

“I think it made us come together as a nation, I know many people wanted to join the military as soon as it happened. I believe it brought us to more of a patriotic feel to the nation,” curriculum and instructional specialist Ann Calloway said. 

Becoming a closer nation after 9/11 was both an individual and the United States effort. No matter what the differences people had they came together to grieve and try to understand what they saw.  

“Many from the community came to pray, I remember small circles of people joining hands with bowed heads praying earnestly,” teacher Jeanne Furr said.  “It changed everyone for a while. People were less self-seeking. Most wanted to spend time with family and loved ones.”

Change in how people felt to how things were running, people wanted to see the United States grow. People wanted to see the nation succeed in honoring people whose lives were lost.  

“Our mind set changed after 9/11 happened. We were the strongest nation military wise, but then we saw that we had flaws, and we needed to fix that. It really gave everyone a very tragic wake up call,” junior Lynnsey Mahler said. 

It changed everyone for a while. People were less self-seeking. Most wanted to spend time with family and loved ones.

— Jeanne Furr, teacher

The videos that people got of that day are watched every year to show how much of a shock it was. Those videos have made younger kids understand what happened. People were choosing either to die by fire or by jumping. The understanding of people and their reactions to things like that event. 

“Watching videos is like reliving them, but while seeing in the face of danger humanity those who stood and fought to be a hero. It was beautiful to see our country come together like that,” Villanueva said. 

9/11 was a terrible and tragic day. It will always be one of the worst things to ever happen on U.S soil, and that day is burned in the memories of many Americans still.

“I was not alive then, but I know from my parents and teachers that everyone was almost holding their breath as the towers fell,” freshman Cooper Clayton said. “Having something like that happen before you were alive is hard to understand. Like how hard and scary it was for people to witness.”

Living through something like that is a scarring thing, witnessing all the events unfold. However, for some the calling was simple. Some knew exactly what was needed to be at a level of understanding. 

“The strength of my resolve when I saw the towers fall, I knew I would eventually be in Afghanistan or Iran,” Villanueva said. “I looked forward to it. I wanted to be there. I needed to be there. We were ready to be the tip of the sword to go in and give vengeance a face.”