It’s very interesting what those two words evoke in people. Two simple words, used every day in one context or another, that stir memories of an event on a specific date in time. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear them spoken?
For me, it’s an early morning getting ready for work. The TV was on, and the “breaking news” was video of the North Tower burning, people jumping from windows as fire consumed the upper floors. Standing there in awe, and sadness, disbelieving, we watched the South Tower explode, compounding the chaos, then it cascaded to the ground. It was like watching a planned demolition, the way it simply dropped to the ground in it’s own footprint. This time, however, there were thousands of people inside.
In a daze, I made my way to work where I joined a room full of co-workers in a conference room to watch the ongoing news about the attack … then the North tower collapsed, joining the remnants of the South tower, creating a huge void in the New York skyline.
Then, when it seemed things were calming down, came news of a plane hitting the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and another plane crashing into the ground in Pennsylvania.
In all, 2,976 people died that day at the hands of 19 terrorists. Indeed, they scared us because of the cowardly manner in which they chose to express themselves. They also awakened the withering patriotism of the United States. Instead of striking fear of them into our hearts these acts united us more strongly, giving 9/11 new meaning.
If anyone you know doesn’t understand the meaning of nine eleven, please explain it to them. They need to know. We can’t forget this.