In Honor of September 11th

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In Honor of September 11th

Elizabeth Yost, Copy Editor

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September 11, 2001, every television screen in America shows the same image. The World Trade Center, a symbol of American strength and economic success is lit ablaze. A society of 285 million freezes for just a few hours as schools, office buildings, and homes watch as ash snows over New York City. One by one, the towers collapse, and a man made blizzard floods the streets. Phones across the city ring, ring, ring. 

 

No one picks up. 

 

On the morning of one of America’s greatest tragedy, four planes run down the runway with the intention of completing a suicide mission. Unaware civilians sit in the cabin, expecting to reach their destination without any trouble. At 8:46 AM the first plane hit the north tower, lighting eight floors ablaze. Under a half hour later, the south tower is hit by a second plane and it suddenly becomes obvious that this is not a freak accident. When the twin towers fall, 2735 lose their lives, civilian and first responder alike. At the Pentagon, 184 were killed, along with another 40 after hijacking flight 93, believed to be headed towards the White House. The passengers took control of the plane and crashed it into a field in Pennsylvania. In the days after the attack, 200 fall fatally ill as a result of the debris polluting the air. 

 

New York, the city that never sleeps, lies silent. A cloud has descended upon those who live there— a grief that no words can properly speak. 

 

Eighteen years later, any American old enough to understand the events of 9/11 can say exactly where they were when the trade center was destroyed and the war on terrorism began. In the place where the towers once stood, a memorial to lives lost stands tall on the original buildings foundation. But US citizens do not hold these memories close as a way of dwelling on the past, but instead as a way of honoring those who were lost. They remember because this tragedy serves as a reminder of the unrivaled courage displayed by every firefighter, police officer, and EMT who rushed towards danger when most would have turned and ran the other way. They remember, because on that day, though sorrow was ingrained in the essence of this prideful country, they were not beaten. Americans are not the type to crumble in the face of adversity. In fact, they insist on being stronger because of it. In times of incomprehensible adversity, Americans pull together and face terrors, not as individuals, but as one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.