The apartment I had moved into was cheap, mostly because the previous tenant had never moved his belongings out. The landlord told me that as long as I cleaned the place out, I could move in and the first month's rent would be free and being a poor college student, I agreed. The place was filled with clutter and old furniture. I arrived with large garbage bags with the mission of simply dumping everything in a few bags and taking them out but as I rummaged through the leftover junk left behind, I found something that caught my eye.
It was an old issue of the Los Angeles Times, worn and yellowed, and the front page displayed a full-page photo of the Twin Towers destruction in New York. The date was September 12, 2001-the day after they fell. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news but holding an actual newspaper in my hand gave me chills as the memory came back and the stark image of two parallel towers with black clouds billowing out from them was staring back at me from the paper in my hands.
It had been several years since the event and since then most of the news has been on The War on Terror, sending more and more soldiers to Iraq, and whatever else Bush had thought necessary. Everyone had become so angry at Bush and this war but as I looked at the article, I realized again what exactly we were fighting for and why we had gone in the first place. I was holding a real piece of American history and evidence of the largest deaths on American soil in my lifetime. Although I was shaken by the event, holding this paper in my hands felt sacred. The person who had left it had obviously wanted it-they had held on to it for so many years, only to forget it when they carelessly moved out of an old apartment. I wondered what it meant to them and if they had held on to it to be reminded or just as a fluke. I decided I would hold on to it-I wanted this relic for myself because this was a piece of my history too.