September 11th 2001: 9/11 Terror Attacks
On this day in 2001, thirteen years ago today, two hijacked planes were crashed into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and another into the Pentagon building in Virginia. The Twin Towers collapsed and part of the Pentagon was badly damaged. A fourth plane was intended to strike the US Capitol Building in Washington DC but its passengers seized control from the hijackers and crashed the plane into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died on this terrible day and thousands more injured in the attacks which sent shockwaves around the world. The attacks were planned and carried out by members of the terrorist group al-Qaeda, and masterminded by Osama bin Laden, who was since been found and killed by US forces. The aftermath of the tragedy prompted greater focus on national security both in the US and abroad and contributed to the invasions of, and subsequent wars in, Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, thirteen years on, we remember the thousands of people who lost their lives on 9/11.
"America is under attack"
- White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card telling President Bush about the attacks
It’s odd how this is one day a year we all come together as a country, but tomorrow we are like strangers.
I was just 11 years old when the WTC fell that symbolic day in 2001.
I remember exactly where I lived, what I was doing, what I was wearing. Heck, I even remember the color of our carpet.
It was beige. And I cringed thinking it would stain horribly when I saw my mom drop her coffee cup on the floor from where she was standing by the couch.
I had been sitting a few feet from the TV with our new kitten, Sylvester, and my mother was watching the devestating news developing out of the US. She immediately went and called one of her co-workers and started chatting away about it on the phone. She was sad, and I just felt confused.
I was 11 — I didn’t even really think I knew what was happening! What will resonate with me forever, though, is when I heard the reporters talking about how a bunch of people were throwing themselves out of a building to avoid burning to death. I remember them saying that they would have heart attacks before they even hit the ground.
That night I had terrible nightmares.
Even if I didn’t understand it fully, a deep place in my mind sure did, and I had dreams of fire and burning.
All this fire, just blazing and smoking — Nothing else.
I woke up scared and breathless and ran to my mom’s room, where she was sitting awake listening to a priest pray on the radio. She told me to come into the bed and listen, thinking maybe it would help. I fell asleep there, listening, and the nightmare didn’t come back.
I think we all remember where we were when the towers fell, and reminiscing on it brings sorrow to my heart. So many lives lost, yet so great of a misinterpreted legacy.
We must cherish the memory of the feelings that came with first hearing of 9/11, because they are ones we would feel all the time without the dedicated service of both our men and women in uniform, and the first responders that protect our communities every day.
The pictures above show people contemplating jumping out of the towers.
Human beings knowing their lives were over, but just trying to figure out how they wanted to die.
We’ll never forget you.