The most important political event that has occurred in my life, and I think most of my classmates would agree, was the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001.
I think that most people can remember where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the attacks. I was just starting my freshman year in high school. When I got up in the morning and saw a plane crash into one of the twin towers in New York City, my first thought was that it was a terrible accident. When the second tower was hit 15 minutes later, we all knew that this was no accident. Throughout the day we watched the news during class and in between classes. This was truly the first day of my own political life.
The disasters of 9/11 occurred at a very influential time for me. Just beginning high school, I was finally starting to realize who I was and what I believed in. I honestly had not really thought about politics with any real meaning or purpose. Before September 11, I didn't think that we would have another war or major conflict, at least not for a long time. Soon after the attacks, we started hearing about Al Qaeda, terrorism, and scandals, and my first impression was, "I thought we were the good guys? Why would anyone want to harm us?" As the days go on, still fighting terrorism and the war in Iraq, we hear more and more about dishonesty, scandals, and corruption in our government.
September 11 cast a long shadow over not just NYC and Washington D.C., but over the entire United States and the entire world. No longer can we show up just one hour before your flight, let alone bring a drink along. No longer can we talk on the telephone with no fear that the government is listening. No longer can we automatically take what the government says as fact.
The only way for all of this to stop is to have a world where there is no greed and dishonesty. While this won't happen in the near future, and most likely not during my lifetime, I hope that someday it can...
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