It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since that horrifying day when terrorists slammed planes into New York City’s World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Sept. 11 is one of those dates where people of ages recall precisely where they were when they heard the devastating news.
Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives that day, which many have described as a bleak turning point in society as well – we live with the impact of 9/11 in so many ways today. It’s one of those events in history that we will never really move on from.
Immediate responses to 9/11 included greater focus on home life and time spent with family, higher church attendance and increased expressions of patriotism such as the flying of flags across the nation.
Today, the 9/11 memorial in New York City is visited by thousands everyday – a testament to how impactful this event was. The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in the North America.
The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools, and it’s a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history.
Such terrorist violence has been, to a degree, witnessed in other parts of the world, but this really was the first time such a horrendous attack took place in North America.
Remnants of the attacks remain today – people in general are perhaps more suspicious, more fearful and more sensitive to news of potential threats to national security.
Border securities are tighter, even something relatively routine as flying is certainly more of a security hassle which is understandable and overall, much more patience is required.
And clearly in the years since, the world has in general not become a more peaceful place. Increased violence and conflict abroad and even closer to home seems to take up much of the news these days. Reports showed that just this week, Chicago marked its 500th homicide of the year. News reports revealed that’s double what New York and Los Angeles see in a single year.
What can we learn today as we consider the lasting impact of 9/11?
We can never – not for one minute – take for granted the relative peace that we enjoy living in this country.
There are pervasive fears that terrorism seems to be inching closer to home, but as we’ve seen in the aftermath of recent terror attacks – it’s so important that people find that sense of resiliency that can fuel a return to normalcy as soon as possible.
That doesn’t diminish in any way that horror of what we witness world wide, but affected communities seem to find solace in a restoring a sense of routine as soon as possible. Perhaps it’s a way of showing the terrorists that life will indeed continue to move forward no matter what they try to destroy or take away.
Sept. 11, 2001 was also a lesson in how very much we are a global community. Prior to this, North America was pretty much untouched by blatant acts of of terror where much of the world lived in such fear for centuries.
If anything, we must continue to move forward with a sense of gratitude for the freedoms we cherish in this part of the world, but also hold onto a higher sense of being diligent when it comes to simply helping to strengthen society against the horrors of terrorism.
Hopefully the events of 9/11 – and the loss that day represents — will never fade from our collective memory.