Tragedy brought nation together to rise from ashes

The morning after 9/11, I woke up, closed my eyes and wished for everything that happened the day before to magically disappear. Maybe, I thought, if I prayed really hard, America wouldn’t have to deal with fallen buildings, terrorists and dead innocents.

Obviously, wishing doesn’t solve everything.

It would be nice if we could wish away all the physical and emotional damages the terrorist attacks brought. Unfortunately, we can’t. What we can do, however, is take a look at the things that the tragedy taught us. After 10 years, we’ve done everything we could to rebuild, a la phoenix rising from the ashes.

We’ve learned a lot, too, because 9/11 has helped us take things seriously.

There are a lot of offensive jokes out there, but I have yet to hear any 9/11 jokes. You just can’t finish them. It’s too soon, and that ordeal is still too painful to be even remotely flippant about it.

We grew up in a post-9/11 world, and, while it would have been nice not to go through what we did, the attack did teach us that the world is unfair, sometimes life is shaky and the unthinkable happens. It’s easy to joke about life sometimes, but, other times, we need to solemnly reflect on what’s going on.

9/11 has also taught us to rally together.

After 9/11, there was a better sense of what it meant to be American. Whether you knew someone who died because of the tragedy or just watched the television screen in disbelief, if you felt even an iota of citizenship, you were horrified. We saw our country take a hit, and it was a hard thing to watch.

I know we’re all different and have different levels of patriotism, but 9/11 taught us how to come together as a nation, re-group and try to rebuild.

It’s not the same as having all of our wishes come true, but it’s a classic rising Phoenix situation, and it’s just as beautiful.

_Tolu is a junior in Media._