DeWitt Jamesville-DeWitt High School senior Max Bregande read the following essay, which he composed, during yesterday’s 9/11 memorial ceremony held in front of DeWitt Town Hall.
Looking back at what happened ten years ago today, my thought process of those tragic events has dramatically changed. Ten years ago, I was 7-years-old, in the second grade at Moses DeWitt School, a carefree fun loving child in Mr. Polumbo's class. I remember that on September 11th, my father took me from school in the early morning. When I asked him why, he told me we were going to my grandmother’s house. Not a word was spoken on the ride, but I could tell he was upset. Inside grandma’s house, the TV was screaming words of horror and disaster and destruction. I saw two buildings with smoke pouring out of them. At the time, however, I couldn’t make sense of it and continued to keep my little cousin company. Although I have vague memories of these events, ten years later they’ve taken on a whole new meaning.
Today, when I think of September 11th, I have a greater understanding of what actually happened. I have seen people's lives changed and hearts broken and I have also seen heroes rise, taking arms to defend our nation. All of it has made me extremely appreciative of the men and women that lost their lives in 2001 — and also for the men and women fighting to protect our country and restore a nation to what it once was. I feel that September 11th made me grow up quicker, because it forced me to take on new responsibilities as a person. It also taught me the meaning of vigilance. But through all of this, I hold no harsh feelings toward anyone as I have forgiven all. I will continue to live and move forward into the future and choose not to dwell on the past. For this is September 11th through the eyes of one American youth. Thank you and God Bless America.