September 11, 2012

It doesn’t feel like 11 years have gone by, but I think about everything that has happened since I watched the second plane hit the Twin Tower: my dad had turned the television on before school started just as the second tower hit and I stood there transfixed. I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew this was big.

I ask myself if I feel safer. I don’t like having our troops in the Middle East, but I don’t begrudge President Bush for the choice he made. I may have made a different one, but there’s no way to know exactly why he did what he did. Do I fear the Taliban? No. I never really did because they weren’t real to my everyday life. When I listened to President Obama tell the world Osama bin Laden was dead killed the power of the militant group even more in my eyes.

And how has America changed? We are closer as Americans and more divided than ever. In 11 years I hope we can learn to address our fears, see which are real and which are simply ghosts we allow to survive. I know I have learned to balance my perspectives, my beliefs and I hope I can help others do the same.

Love to you all.

More of James Nachtwey’s photography from the day.

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