President Miller delivers 9/11 Remembrance Speech

 

Good evening, I am Kitrina Miller, the WSU Student Body President. I am honored to be there tonight to reflect on the events that took place on September 11. On this date, I was three years old. I personally do not have any recollection of the event, I only know what my parents have told me. At the time, my dad was serving in the United States Army and we were living on base in Dexheim, Germany. I was at daycare while both my parents were working, when my dad called my mom to tell her to get home to take care of me because base was going into lock down. It was then that my mom turned on the news to watch the second plane hit, while my dad rushed home to grab his gear and then was placed on patrol around base for hours. As my mom hurried home, she told me that all she could think about was “why is this happening?” And “I have to get home to my daughter because I don’t know when her dad is going to be back.”

My generation and the generations that have come after me have grown up in a time where fear and caution are two ruling emotions. I sometimes hear stories about my parents and grandparents and how they grew up in a time where they could be carefree and had few  worries about what could happen next. Those stories always seemed to confuse me because that was not the same society my sister and I have grown up in. My generation has grown up with tight airport security, biases against others who have different religions, and have seemed to become accustomed to the thought of violence and war. The way the attack affected our nation has been hard to understand and not always easy to process, especially for me personally, however from all of the sadness a lot of good and hope was created. Within days after the attack 36,000 units of blood were donated in New York City, the local people of Dexheim, Germany laid bouquets of flowers outside the gates of the base we lived at, and above all we showed not only the world but even ourselves just how resilient we, the people of the United States of America, can be.

There is a quote from Elizabeth Edwards who was an attorney, best selling-author, and health care activist that I would like to share with you all: “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good.” As I have grown into the person I am today, I like to think that after what occurred on September 11 of 2001 we all came together to put together something good from unimaginable tragedy. I feel very thankful for experiencing this resiliency throughout my childhood and young adult life. It reminds me that our Nation can and will continue on no matter what.

I would like to thank every single first responder, military service members and unsung hero for their brave actions that day and the many days after, I send my thoughts and love to the families affected by this tragedy, and I will never forget.