The morning of September 11th, 2001 begins in my car driving to class at SMU. I was listening to the radio and hearing all sorts of reports of attacks in New York. I thought is another “one of those” headlines where an event was getting more attention than it needed. I remember walking into morning class at 9:30 am, and listening to everyone talking about the events. It was then, I realized it was for real, and that something serious was occurring. The professor gave us the option to leave class, and when that option was offered, the entire class cleared. I made my way to a friend’s dorm and it was then that I was able to watch on live television, the second plane hit one of the towers. It was a sickening and saddening sight. That day led to varied experiences over the next few weeks that truly opened my eyes to society and human rights. As an Indian-American whose parents are immigrants from India, I experienced much backlash from the events that occurred from angry people simply because I looked as if I were from Middle Eastern descent. Racial slurs were hurled at me on many occasions and I felt just a general fear from people. This experience gave me such a different perspective on what it feels like to be treated unfairly. Being a U.S. citizen, I remember asking myself the question, “Am I not an American too?” I believe that every experience one goes through is an opportunity for learning. Although the events of 9-11 were tragic, I can genuinely say that those events have forced me to look at the world in a more accepting light. I was called into a deeper appreciation of people, regardless of the “label” that society has placed on them. God bless America for being a land where everyone can be respected as human beings!

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