Yesterday, our co-creator/editor Keegan Goudie and featured writer Will Wilson started talking about their memories from September 11th.

The exchange didn’t go down as smoothly as we’re making it sound, but essentially – Keegan asked Will what he thought people would want to read about on 9/11. As another anniversary of this catastrophe passes – we are reminded of how much we’ve grown as a country, and how much we’ve learned as individuals. 

Because for us, and surely for you – no day held for more growing pains than September 11th, 2001.

The Lessons We Remember Learning On September 11th

Most of the world starts making sense around the age of 11. 

You begin to know more than what’s on TV or what homework you have to finish before you’re allowed to play Tony Hawk Pro Skater.

You began to have a sense of the cultures and viewpoints around you, even though you’re far too young to appreciate them. 

You begin to notice things about the world you never did before, even though they still make you feel uncomfortable.

Largely in part to the September 11th terrorist attacks, 11 is an age that I remember vividly.

I was sitting at the kitchen counter of my family’s old house for dinner, sighing and scratching my head instead of eating the wild rice and pork chops that my lovely mother made for me.  I couldn’t eat, shockingly, because I felt like everybody was more affected from the situation than I was. I felt like they were over-reacting, or maybe I was just a terrible human being and truly didn’t care.

But as I got older – I realized, of course, that none of that was true.

I was frustrated only because I couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of the attacks. But after September 11th, I had a new curiosity for the world.

I had a new understanding for love.

And most of all, I had a new appreciation for life.

– Keegan Goudie, Executive Editor

There are people who hate America on a fundamental level.

They didn’t hate us for the way we look, or because we intruded on their borders, or because they perceive us as evil.

Those who orchestrated the attacks hated America and every last U.S. citizen exactly because of who we are allowed to be. Just like the words of their religion, a religion of peace, were twisted to ignite a holy war among their members, everything that the United States stands for has been twisted into an object of hate.

Our religions, infidelity. Our tolerance, weakness. Our successes, excesses. Our freedom, a lack of restraint.

It took me years to come to terms with this. To come to terms with the fact that everything that I had perceived as true and just was the source of pure hate halfway across the globe. That every freedom I enjoyed in the country our forefathers established was the cause of aggressive animosity.

In short, I learned that there would always be evil as long as there was good. There would always be someone who tries to darken the light of liberty.

But as with anything in life, truly standing for something means that there will always be someone to oppose you, and if there will always be another foe lurking around the corner, I’m proud to be on the side that stands for good.

– Will Wilson , Featured Writer

(Photo credit: US Air Force)