Why I Care About 9/11

Demetrios Turk, Sports Editor

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It had been almost exactly 60 years since a foreign attack on US soil. That attack being The Pearl Harbor Bombings that thrusted the US into World War II. For years that had remained the worst tragedy ever to happen on US soil.

Then, on the morning of Sept.11th, 2001 millions of people across the country were all glued to their TV screens. Nineteen Militants, all affiliated with the middle-eastern terrorist group Al Qaeda, hijacked and crashed four American planes. Two planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon and a fourth crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

That day, almost 3,000 innocent American citizens would lose their lives. Many more citizens as well as other groups would suffer in the years that followed. The world changed that day, and a definite ripple effect has created a twisted future of America and the world.

American citizens were sent into a panic. Many people still remember exactly where they were when they found out. Jim Villabos, my grandfather, talked about where he was and what he did on that day,

“We were just getting off work and we heard about it on the radio. We went over to your tio’s house and turned on the tv. We actually were able to see the second tower fall.”

The most impactful thing about that day this is how raw and painful it still is to talk about, 18 years later. My grandfather also talked about the pure terror and fear after the attacks.

“We didn’t know if there was going to be more. If they were going to spread out, maybe hit the coasts and New York was just the start. We didn’t want to go to work for days after the attack.”

A year later their fear were confirmed as another threat to American security came in the form of mailed letters with Anthrax, a poisonous toxin, to important people. These attacks claimed two lives and injured another seventeen.

Soon after The Security Act of 2002 was signed into law by current President George W. Bush, which created The Department of Homeland Security. Today, the department is apart of the cabinet and is responsible for keeping American lives safe. Also enacted was the Transportation and Security Administration. The TSA was founded on November 19th, 2001, as a direct response to the tragedy. The agency was meant to add security to flights and airports, something that was mostly absent before.

On Dec. 18th, 2001, Sept. 11th was deemed, “Patriot Day” to honor the lives lost and to celebrate the heroes that saved them. There was a competition to design the memorial put on by the World Trade Center Site Memorial, amd Michael Red’s “Reflecting Absence,” won the competition. The memorial is two waterfalls and reflective pools where the towers once stood. The names of all 2,983 victims are engraved on the memorial; and there are 152 bronze panels where people were standing. The memorial was opened to the public on Sept. 11th, 2011. After this, the National Sept. 11th Memorial and Museum was opened in May 2014.

The 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were devastating then and now 18 years later when we remember those we lost.

Even now we are losing the heroes of that day, the firefighters and policemen who were saving lives are dying from cancer and other illnesses due to all the toxins they breathed in saving the lives of people in the burning and falling towers. The attacks ultimately did not serve their purpose for terror. America rose up, we unified. America improved and lives to tell the tale and remember and honor those we lost.

“We were still Americans.” Jim Villabos says ” We can’t let the attacks take away our way of life. Otherwise, they win.”

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