UNITED STATES—It’s hard to believe that Thursday, September 11, 2014 marks the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States. For so many of us we can probably reflect back on exactly where we were in that moment in time when the first plane and subsequently the second plane striking the World Trade Center Towers in New York City.
We were all frozen with fear; unaware of exactly what had taken place, but more importantly why it was taking place. I was in senior in high school learning the fun of Calculus when we were all forced to take a seat and watch the TV screen. Multiple media outlets were reporting an explosion into the World Trade Center tower, when on the screen a second plan flew into the tower. It was dead silent; fear literally had people cowering in corners, before an announcement was made for all students to head home immediately.
All I kept thinking was, “What is going to happen next? Will there be an attack where I live or what monument might be targeted?” It’s difficult to discuss the number of lives that were lost on that fateful day; the heroes who rose from the shadows to put their lives in jeopardy to rescue others from a group of cowardly terrorists who enacted some anarchy as a form of vengeance on America.
To this day I still have no understanding why what happened, actually happened. I just know it forever changed America as we know it. The rest of the year seemed like this vacuum full of empty space. It was a blur, I can barely remember what transpired, and with a snap of a finger we have gone back to are everyday lives. Yet, each time September comes around I just know, the commemoration of the 9/11 attacks are front and center.
I’m not certain if that resonates with all Americans. When tragic events strike they only seem to last a few days or a couple of weeks before the next big story takes place. It almost as if we want to ‘move on’ to new things, but we can’t.
September 11, 2011 was a game-changing day in American history. Never had many of us ever witnessed something so horrific, so tragic, and so haunting in our lives. A militant group of terrorists were out for blood and they planned to do everything in their power to instill fear in America that life would never be the same and it hasn’t. Pre 9/11 the height of security at airports was at minimum brisk.
Today, things are tighter than ever before. No liquids, no knives, no weapons, I mean you are stripped clean and searched in every cranny before you can board any flight. Go ahead, try to sneak something on a plane that is not prohibited and see what transpires. The September 11 attacks didn’t just changed flying for Americans it changed everything, our perception of people, who we can trust and who we can’t trust, we all became different people; rather we admit to it or not.
That day will always live with me in infamy because it taught me something that I had never known about Americans before; in a time of crisis we unite. One can be strong, but millions, billions united we are unstoppable. We proved that on 9/11 and from this day forward, regardless how horrific that day may have been, we send a message to any and all terrorists who threaten harm on our country: we will not stand for it. To all the families who lost loved ones on that fateful day, you are in my prayers and you will never be forgotten.
By Trevor Roberts