America changed on September 11, 2001 when the Twin Towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack that has become known as simply 9/11. However, it’s not that simple. In fact, it’s still hard to believe that four coordinated terrorist attacks were carried out by 19 Islamic extremists who hijacked our commercial airplanes, and crashed two of the planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, causing them to collapse as Americans were fleeing for their lives and jumping out of burning buildings.
Approximately 18,000 people were in the WTC complex when it was hit on 9/11 and the vast majority was able to escape the flames. However, as people rushed out, first responders rushed in trying to save those still trapped in the burning buildings. It was these courageous first responders who went up 110 stories trying to save others, and many of them lost their own lives and sacrificed all for their country.
I can remember watching these horrific scenes unfold like a nightmare. I stopped teaching my school classroom and we watched in dismay at the destruction of our country. How was this happening in America?
Another plane would fly into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. And then after learning about the other attacks, passengers on the fourth hijacked plane, Flight 93, would fight back, and cause their plane to crash into an empty field in western Pennsylvania, only about 20 minutes by air from its destination of Washington, D.C.
The last words of one passenger, Todd Beamer, were “Let’s roll” as he and a few other passengers attempted to storm the cockpit and take their plane back from the hijackers. I remember he was born in 1968, a month before me. We were both the same age, 32, yet he would sacrifice his life that day for his country. All passengers, crew members and terrorists on board Flight 93 were killed so the plane wouldn’t hit its target of the White House.
The attacks on 9/11 killed 2,977 people from 93 nations: 2,753 people were killed in New York; 184 people were killed at the Pentagon; and 40 people were killed on Flight 93.
However, I think something else also died that day in America – our sense of security. Yes, as we watched America under attack I think we lost our sense of our security that “nothing could ever happen to us in America.” Yet since that dreadful day Americans have continued to lose their sense of security in their country and it has led to the fall of America as we know it. Now America is imploding upon itself and again is in a real 911 crisis.
Politics and poisonous opinions that are not for the greater good of protecting all Americans are now the norm. There is an unwinding of our democracy because no one can see eye to eye anymore and there only seems to be hatred spewed against one another on a daily basis.
Social media is a joke because people coward behind it and push their agendas and opinions, yet they won’t dare to have face-to-face debates with one another. I can remember a time when people worked out their differences or at least agreed to disagree and would go on. Nowadays so much intolerance affects our small communities to our entire country we have grown up in. It’s simply ridiculous that people are not accepted because of their beliefs or convictions.
Americans needs to get over their intolerance of one another because it only breeds misunderstandings and more hostility between us. When people have no opportunity to settle their disagreements by discussion, they are apt to resort to fighting or violence. Intolerance definitely plays a leading role in fostering civic disorders and revolutions. Intolerance also breeds separation and takes away our freedom of expression. It doesn’t allow others to have a say or put into practice any beliefs that might be different from your own ideas. In fact, it becomes a mental attitude that cannot recognize or respect any differences in beliefs or opinions. Hence why I believe America is in a 911 crisis because she is imploding upon herself and a house divided will surely fall.
I promise if we don’t settle our differences, we won’t have to worry about terrorists from other countries destroying us because we will keep attacking each other until there is no freedom, no forgiveness and no future for America at all.