9/11 Five Years Later...


Written on 12:00 AM by Jack B.

Like many, I remember where I was 5 years ago, I can recall almost all of my movements from that day. I remember getting ready for school, listening to the radio, when the announcer suddenly said a plane had crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I turned on the TV to see the news, and saw the second tower hit. “This was no accident”, the thought crossed my mind instantly, as it must have done to so many others. I still went to school, classes were cancelled (big surprise, huh?), but it’s amazing what one’s priorities are even in times of trauma. I don’t think it had all sunk in yet.

I went to my grandmother’s house and watched events unfold on TV with my cousins - watched as the towers collapsed, one right after the other, like a house of cards, into dust and debris. The two tallest structures in New York City, two of the tallest building in the world, more than 3,000 human lives and countless thousands other changed forever - and all at the hands of a literal handful of cold-blooded fanatics. Not to mention the hundreds of lives lost at the Pentagon and United 93 over Pennsylvania.

Maybe I’m naive but I don’t understand that kind of evil. I cannot fathom minds that can so cold-bloodily, so methodically kill other human beings. But such people do exist, such people continue to seek the end of civilization as we know it. For these people the event of September 11, 2001 were just the beginning but for rest of us it MUST be the end. It’s easy to forget , days, weeks can go by and I don’t think about it. Then something or another will bring me to downtown Manhattan and see the large gaping hole where Towers 1 & 2 once stood and the memories come back. Of my sisters picking up debris from the WTC miles away across the Hudson at her H.S. running track. At my father breaking down at his job because he thought my mother was in the area when it happened (she was but not that close), of the hours my family spent worrying about my uncle who worked in Tower 1 and waiting to see if he was OK (he was). Of watching the TV helplessly, knowing that just a few hours walk from where I was, thousands of my fellow New Yorkers were losing their lives.

At the time my greatest feelings were of loss, sadness and helplessness - and I wasn’t nearly as affected as others were. That’s why we can never forget 9/11, never stop commemorating its anniversary - so America never forgets. With our very lives and futures at stake, we don’t have that option.

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