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Have We Really Changed?

September 12, 2017
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

This past Monday marked the 16th Anniversary of the day terror came knocking on our door and changed the face of America forever and changed the way we viewed the world.

Who among us will ever forget the images of the blazing towers that crumbled to the ground taking with them the lives of so many? Who can forget the gruesome sight of those who jumped to their deaths from the 110-story buildings instead of burning to death? Who will ever forget the images of ash covered, bloodied New Yorkers in the streets in shock by what had happened? Or the days, weeks and months that followed as the death toll climbed ever higher during the search and rescue efforts? But did we as Americans really change?

Even more than Pearl Harbor or the assassination of John F. Kennedy, 9/11 stands alone as a shaping moment in our modern history. It is one that exerts the most profound effects on the psychology, policies and politics of America and its citizens.

Our sense of enduring susceptibility is one of the most fundamental impacts 9/11 has had. Our country made us feel safe. We had a sense of security not felt in any other part of the world. But people who live in glass houses often find that those houses are easily damaged or destroyed, which is what happened to us on that fateful day.

What happened in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania unfolded in front of our eyes. It was the unthinkable. Someone was actually attacking us at home. No one had ever done anything like that, except for Pearl Harbor. I find it hard to look to the future and see a time when our country will once again be that fortress that keeps evil out.

We no longer see the United States as beloved by everyone in the world. We had strong ideals that we do good things in the world and everyone loved us for coming to the rescue. This made 9/11 even more horrifying, hurtful and confusing. The goal that day was to show the United States that we were vulnerable to attack and that we were not the beloved country we thought we were.

Many of us remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when the news came across the wires that a plane had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. That plane was traveling at 466 mph when it hit the tower. The second plane crashed into the South Tower traveling 590 mph. Planes also hit the Pentagon and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. The day 2,996 people lost their lives because one group of people wanted to the world that our country was vulnerable to the very things we were so against in the world.

I changed that day. I used to look at the world around us and feel safe. There was a sense of security that one would not feel anywhere else in the world. Almost a feeling of invincibility, that the horrible things that happened in other countries could never really touch us here. I do not look at the world in the same way. My eyes have been opened to just how evil men can be and that there really is true evil in this world.

We cannot hide from events we do not care to hear about but we must be ever diligent of the world around us and watch for signs of what may becoming in the future.

We must always remember and never forget that fateful day in September 16 years ago



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