Five years ago today I was in Washington State, walking into the plant where they built the four jets used as missiles that crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. I drove to work, not tuning into the morning news as I usually do during my morning commute. I was oblivious to what had transpired. As I walked into the facility, someone asked me, "Did you hear what happened?" They proceeded to tell me the news of the World Trade Center crash. The Pentagon had not yet been hit, and only one of the Twin Towers had fallen. I thought they were joking, because what had happened at the time seemed nothing short of unreal. I soon realized that this was no joke. I sat silently with my fellow employees glued to our radios, hoping to hear any news amid chaos erupting on the East Coast. The Internet was down due to overload, and web sites like CNN.com were inaccessible from heavy traffic. Work had to wait.
Just two weeks later, I left that company to pursue my MBA. Just two years later, determined to serve my country and make a difference in the world, I took a new assignment. I am now on the front lines of foreign service and am dedicated to promoting American interests and helping keep Americans and America secure. I love this job and wouldn’t trade it for the world. This is where I need to be right now. I don’t think it would have happened had not that fateful day on September 11, 2001, when the world changed, and America changed. At the 9/11 ceremony today, with flag at half mast, taps, and a memorial speech, I was reminded of that day five years ago and how it changed my life.
On this fifth anniversary of 9/11, I hope and pray for peace. I hope for peace in Iraq and Afghanistan. I hope for peace between Democrats and Republicans. I hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I hope for peace in the War on Terror. I hope for peace between Blue Staters and Red Staters. I hope for peace between the Two Koreas. In all conflicts, I hope for peace. There will likely never be true peace on earth in the life we live now, but one can hope that at least we’ll have a bit of respite and a temporary ceasefire of hostilities. It’s probably more than we can hope for in this world. There is a lot of fear, anger, and bitterness among people. I wish that this day will help temper these feelings and create more goodwill.