9/11 A Day Forever Remembered
My memories of a day that changed history
It started off as a typical Tuesday morning for me. I was fifteen years old and a freshman in high school. I was sitting in my first period civics class preparing for a test the next morning. Suddenly the principal came over the loudspeaker announcing a plane crash that had just taken place. President Bush had asked for the nation to stop and say a prayer for the lives that were lost. I was confused at first, plane crashes, although very tragic, was not an uncommon thing. We didn’t realize it at that moment, but this was not just a typical plane crash. As we were able to gather more information, it became clear that nothing would be the same for our country, for mankind. The day, September 11, 2001, would forever go down in our history books as the day that we were attacked by terrorists. Nearly 3,000 innocent lives were lost when those planes hit the trade center.
The World Trade Center was opened in 1973 in New York City. It was know to be one of the tallest buildings in the world. An early commercial advertising tours for the building proudly celebrating the fact that we could be on top of the world. There had once been a previous attack on the building with a bombing that had taken place in 1993, where six people were killed. Following that attack, there had been increased security measures put in place to avoid such an event happening again.
Nobody could have imagined what took place that September morning, less than ten years later. There are countless videos and recordings that give us an insight of what it was like for the victims. Passengers made phone calls to 911, family, friends, and coworkers to describe crucial details of what was happening. During the attacks, they made heroic efforts to stop the terrorists. Several passengers and stewardesses were killed trying to take back control. In the final moments, many passengers told their friends and family that they loved them and shared their final goodbyes.
In the towers, people tried frantically to get out of the buildings as they were overcome by dust and debris. Firemen and other first responders fought to help them out of the towers, sometimes giving their lives to do so. There are victims that have never been found from that day. It is heartbreaking to think of how many lives were lost that day. How many parents, siblings, spouses, and friends never got to see their loved ones again. There are children who lost parents that they never got to meet.
In the aftermath, the nation was left heartbroken, scared, and confused. I remember going home from school that day looking around to people racing to get gas in their cars. It seemed so weird to me that people were panicked to get their vehicles gassed up. Everyone was glued to the news that evening. Talks quickly turned to war to stop these terrorist organizations.
Our culture shifted to a very patriotic outlook. People dressed in red, white, and blue. Many episodes of different shows were taken off air in light of the 9-11 tragedies. Late night show hosts struggled to be comedic as they were afraid of being insensitive. Politicians were videoed standing on the steps of the capitol building singing God Bless America. Americans stood together during this difficult time, trying to make sense of it all and trying to get back to normal, or the new normal.
Little by little, life did get back to usual, although there were many changes that would take place. Airports began to enforce much stricter security measures when boarding a plane. Unfortunately, not all changes were positive. After 9/11, Some feared and mistreated American Muslims. Troops were sent to Afghanistan to fight. In this, many more lives were lost or changed forever.
September 11, 2001 will always be remembered, and there are memorials every year to commemorate the lives lost that day. There are conspiracy theories that are in documentaries and conspiracy theory videos that believe that the U.S. Government knew more than they admit to. These argues will probably continue, but shouldn’t be used to minimize these great tragedy. The victims that were lost that day and that have fought in order for our country to continue to live in freedom are heroes. May we always remember.