I was in 8th grade on September 11, 2001, and I remember that everything after was different. Every news show was about the "War on Terrorism" and "High Alert" and "Shock and Awe." I remember my mother saying that she didn't want her children growing up in a time of war. Well, that's exactly what happened. I thought war was the answer. I thought that since these certain Muslims were supposedly the "bad guys" and that they certainly had weapons of mass destruction that we were supposed to go to war with them. I even thought that President Bush was doing the right thing. It wasn't until I went to college in the fall of 2006 that I began having questions. I eventually studied anthropology and began to examine my worldviews and existing presuppositions about various groups. During my senior year in 2009-2010, I began reading news articles regularly and after graduation I relocated to NYC. I have since become aware of what really happened the lies, the scandals, the torture, the corruption.
I am glad that Osama Bin Laden has been stopped, but I'm not going to venture out onto the streets and scream in joy as if the US national soccer team just won the World Cup because I think it's inappropriate. We should all remember that thousands upon thousands of lives have been lost in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have spent trillions of dollars on these wars and delved further and further into debt. And in some ways, I believe we have given people in other countries more of a reason to hate America.
I love this country. I still cry when I see the footage from 9/11. It changed my world. But I will rejoice on the day that this country is restored to a time of peace and prosperity. Call me an optimist, but I think this day will come. And if I am living on that day, I will rejoice!
Vinson graduated from Toccoa Falls College in May 2010 with a B.S. in cross-cultural studies. She was 13 years old on 9/11.