Blog, Reflection

9/11

I thought the title for this post was self explanatory for most people but yet there are actually people who don’t know what it means. There really is a generation already who hadn’t been born yet on this tragic day, 13 years ago already. Man I feel old if I think of that.

For the people who, for whatever reason, don’t know what is meant with 9/11, a short explanation; On the morning of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks where carried out with commercial airliners in the United States. These aircrafts where flying on their normal schedules but where hijacked after which two of them flew into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York. Another one flew into the Pentagon near Washington and the fourth plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost 3000 people were killed that day. You can read more here.

I remember exactly where I was that day when I heard the news of the first plane flying into one of the towers. I finished lectures early that day and was shopping in the city with my friends when my mum gave me a call. She had to tell me twice but I still didn’t believe here. “Sure mum, you probably just misunderstood” I said to her while I turned around. At that moment I happened to be near a big commercial screen in the city which turned from commercials to CNN. Before I could say more, the second plane flew into the other tower in New York. I quickly told my mum she was right, I was going to hang up and joined the big crowed near the screen. With disbelieve we all stared at the screen to what was happening on the other side of the world at that exact time. Everyone seemed shocked. How could this happen in the oh so safe United States.

I’ve never heard such a silence in a noise city. I get goosebumps just thinking about it again. Everyone wanted to know more, how did this happen, what happened, who is responsible. Many questions to which no one had an answer yet. While we watched and waited and thought this tragedy couldn’t get any worse, the third plane flew into the Pentagon just thirty minutes later….

And while we hoped this wouldn’t happen again, that this was “everything” it got worse. This time the last plane crashed in pennsylvania. The people on board had heard what happened to the other hijacked planes and somehow made sure not another target was hit by crashing the plane. They are heroes, every single one of them. Knowing that if you don’t do anything, you’re going to die and if you do, you’re going to die as well but in the hopes of saving other people. Only the thought of the choice these people had to make makes me sick to my stomach.

But not only these people are heroes in my eyes, everyone who helped, or tried to help at the crash sites are heroes. Many of them died that day, like when the Twin Towers collapsed.

It has been 13 years since it happened, but every year on 9/11 I (along with the rest of the world) take a moment to think and reflect on this tragedy. The first of many terrorist attacks around the globe that changed the world, made it less safe and took the lives of many.

In November of 2010, about 9 years later, I was in New York standing at Ground Zero. At that time it they were working on a monument, it was a construction site, but just standing there, knowing what happened is impressive. And one day, when my travels take me back to New York again, I’ll be there again to visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

May we never forget what happened on this black day in history.

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

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