In my experience as a middle school student, the tragedies on September 11 didn’t really affect me as it would today. You don’t really know the severity of the situation. I was in seventh grade when the attacks occurred. I was in gym class. It started to freak me out when my fellow students were getting calls from their parents to come home. I was wondering why my parents didn’t call for me. 

When my mom picked me up, she asked me if I heard anything about what had happened. I explained to her that I saw some things on the television in lunch, but the teachers turned them off. My mom told me that our country was attacked and that she had been listening to the radio and watching the television all day about it. My jaw dropped. Why would anyone do this? I don’t see how tragedy can be so bittersweet for some people.

The ten year anniversary of the attacks happened a few days ago. It’s crazy to see how time flies so fast. I recently went to New York City during summer break. They were finishing up a memorial site for the families, friends and people visiting or living in the city. It was remarkable to see where the World Trade Center was. It was insane. I couldn’t imagine how it was ten years ago. Seeing people flying out of buildings to their death would haunt me to this day and forever. Anyone should visit this location when they get the chance; it’s epic.

The weekend of my birthday on September 10, I went to Miami Beach with my boyfriend and his friend, and my sister and her friend. Aside from being excited for the hot weather and amazing ocean, I had my fears of flying on the airplane to get there. I was scared mainly because it was the ten year anniversary of the attacks. Even though we left on September 9, I still was nervous.

Going to the airport, my stomach was in knots. When we got our baggage slips and boarding passes, we had to pass through security. Thankfully, the security was very high. At the check-in, you put your entire carry-on luggage on the belt, including your shoes and even pant belts. After that process, everyone had to stand in a giant security scanner and put their hand up over their heads, at an exact stance with their feet straight. When I got out, they had to pat me down, only because I was wearing layers of t-shirts. After this process, I felt safer to be on an airplane.

Still, you never know what to expect when going on a plane. I was very cautious when waiting for the boarding to begin. I tried making light of the situation by making comments.  There had to be some sort of air marshal on the plane, especially on this weekend in particular. Getting on the plane was the most nervous part for me. I was ready for the worst to happen, but I was thinking positively. As long as I kept my head forward and my eyes straight, I would be able to defeat my fear. Thankfully, our plane landed safely with no hesitations or interruptions.

Still, we had another flight to catch in an hour. The other flight landed perfectly and on schedule. To say the least, I was relieved.

Coming home was another worry only because it was the day after 9-11. I heard that terrorists were plotting to attack again, but why would they make it so obvious? If anything, they would attack on a different day. Again, thankfully, we landed smoothly and safely home.

The security anywhere nowadays is way more advanced. You can’t even bring a bottle of shampoo with you on your carry-on unless it’s less than six ounces. I am grateful that Delta airlines kept me safe through the whole process and first time in my life flying as an adult. (The first time I ever flew was when I was about four-years-old.)

I will fly one day again, maybe in December when I graduate. I am glad that I know I can be safe flying with the security we have in America now.

The attacks on 9-11 didn’t only change and affect the lives of the families, friends and people there, it affected the whole world. In my eyes, we need to thank America and the protection we have here and be grateful that there is a way we can be safe.