The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    National tragedies unify Americans

    As Americans, we have seen our fair share of destruction. From terrorism to natural disasters, we cannot seem to escape the threat of being torn apart as a nation. Even though we have proven to be strong as a nation, terrorists and the devil seek to destroy us for good.
    Sept. 11, 2001, was a day of fear and pain. This, of course, was the day when two airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center. A plane also crashed into the Pentagon, and another crashed into an empty field. The pain that day ranged from the physical agony experienced by the victims of the attack to the emotional distress of all the families who received the dreaded call saying one of their loved ones had died. On that day, at least 2,985 people lost their lives.
    Just a couple of days ago was the fifth anniversary of the day that Hurricane Katrina plowed over the southern United States. In her path, she razed homes, flooded major cities like New Orleans and took the lives of at least 1,836 people. Although many people lived in fear before, during and after the hurricane, we still proved we could not be separated or defeated.
    In these two events alone, no less than 4,821 people were killed as a result of inclement weather and a few evil people. We could have easily let this get to us and cause us to turn on each other, but we didn’t. We came together as a nation and used our various skills to help those in need.
    It does not take long after devastation hits before groups of people have swarmed the site to offer a helping hand. Some people helped with cleaning debris from the coast, some people provided food for families who had none and some people offered their homes for people who needed a place to stay.
    I remember a political cartoon drawn by Marshall Ramsey from The Clarion-Ledger after the Sept. 11 attacks. It depicted many people each coming from every different ethnicity and background. The frame was split and on the left side, each person held a sign stating their ethnicity. On the second side, each of the same people held a sign that said, “American.”
    When it comes to our country, isn’t that what we all are? Yes, I am a white male who happens to be a little nerdy at some times, but I am an American.
    We should all work together to make this country the best it can be. In times of trouble like Katrina and 9/11, we put aside all our differences and rushed to help, but we should work together to better our nation at all times, even hard times.
    Looking back to the day Hurricane Katrina came onto shore, I remember actually having fun. Yes, I was nervous, but we did not let a little bad weather stop our fun. My grandmother moved in with us for a couple of weeks so we could make sure she was safe, and she made me dread the thought of the power turning back on. We played Scrabble, told stories and had more fun than I’ve ever had watching TV.
    This is the attitude that allows America to be successful and to remain as strong as it has. We as a nation have decided we will not let anybody or anything break us apart. It is with this attitude that we will continue to be the best country on the planet.
    Jay Ballard is a freshman majoring in chemistry. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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    National tragedies unify Americans