A Moment for Reflection About September 11, 2001
by Joanne Troppello
“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” – Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl.
I’m sure Mrs. Dahl’s words were coming from the place of tragedy—that we shouldn’t waste time on hating others because we never know how much time we have left with our loved ones on this Earth. However, these words from Sandy Dahl should be shouted from the rooftops today because our world has turned into a place where it is perfectly acceptable to say hateful things to people and about them without any thought to how our words may hurt others.
America and the World Changed Forever
September 11, 2001 changed America forever. It has been seventeen years since that day when two planes hit the World Trade Center in New York City and a third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, VA. The fourth plane that was headed toward Washington, D.C. crashed in Shanksville, PA. These terrorist attacks killed 2,996 people and injured over 6,000. In the four planes, including the terrorists, 265 people died. At the World Trade Center and nearby area, 2,606 people died. At the Pentagon, 125 people died.
I did not lose anyone on that horrible day. As a nation and the world, we all grieved together for those who lost loved ones. We all lost our sense of safety after that terrorist attack. During the Clinton and Bush administrations prior to 9/11, terrorism was never the highest priority on the government’s national security radar. Six people were killed and a thousand wounded in the terrorist attack in February 1993 when a truck bomb exploded as Ramzi Yousef and his terrorist group tried to destroy the World Trade Center. Eight years later, on September 11th the damage was far worse in this horrific tragedy.
Our younger generation who was born shortly before or after 9/11 has never experienced living in the US without the possibility of a terrorist attack happening at any time hanging over their heads. I am a child of the 80’s and have lived my life part of a good family, in a nice neighborhood, and with relative peace and security in the US. All of that changed after September 11th. We all now live under the constant threat that another attack can happen wherever you are.
Can you honestly answer that since 9/11, you haven’t ever been slightly worried about another attack? I have. I don’t obsess over it. That would make me go insane. That is what the terrorists want—to instill fear in the ‘infidels” and wipe us off the face of the earth. According to Islamic theology, Christians and Jews are considered infidels in the ‘Ahl al Kitab’, People of the Book.
Now before I get any comments or emails, I have nothing against Muslims. I have nothing against Jews. I have nothing against Christians. However, I do not stand for the radical beliefs of Islam that dictate the eradication of a whole group of people simply based upon their race, religion, or ethnicity. Terrorism is something that we should all be against.
However, I do acknowledge that the actions of a small number of terrorists should never condemn an entire group of people like all Muslims. Acts of terrorism can be committed by anyone, including cases where a member of the military has been the shooter, or a lone wolf has committed horrible acts of murdering innocent people.
For a detailed account of this day, visit this website to read “The 9/11 Commission Report”.
Where Were You on 9/11?
I still remember where I was on September 11th. I was bust at work, minding my own business, and trying to get started on the workday. I remember my boss coming to my office and I heard disbelief in her voice as she told me about the first plane hitting the tower.
The news quickly spread around the office. We all paused in horror and made our way up to the conference room to watch this unbelievable scene on the TV.
Even to this day, I remember thinking how could this happen here? We’re America…things like this do not happen HERE! After watching the news for a while, one by one we made the silent walk back to our respective offices. I don’t even know how we got any work done that day.
My friend lives in NY and I remember emailing my sister that morning to find out if she’d heard from her, our mutual friend. My sister let me know that she’d tried calling her and could not reach her. It seems like so many people were trying to reach loved ones after hearing the news, that people couldn’t get through because of infrastructure damage due to cell towers being destroyed in the attacks. Eventually, my sister reached our friend and found out that she was shaken by what had happened but was fine.
Standing Together as a Nation
I still can’t believe that it’s been seventeen years since 9/11 happened. I can’t even imagine the pain of the families who had lost loved ones that horrible day. A day when people simply went to work, never imagining the horror that was to occur from 8:46 am – 10:28 am. A little under two-hour time span and our world was changed forever.
Our country rallied that day and people stood together, not caring what color of skin we had or what religious belief we held. We all stood together as Americans and made a statement to the world. Most of the world stood with us that day. I remember seeing images on the news of people lighting candles, standing together in prayer vigils, and searching for a way to get through this devastation. People turned back to God and to hope and faith.
What Can 9/11 Teach Us?
With the ensuing war on terror, the US Government implemented the Patriot Act as a way to keep us safe as a nation. Regardless of your political views, I have to say that I am thankful to the former President Bush. He stood strong that day and the following days, weeks, and years to come to help keep our country safe from another attack. I pray for God’s protection on our country and the world to keep us safe today and in the future.
I am so glad that they rebuilt at the site of the Twin Towers. This memorial site is a tribute to the heroes who tried to save as many people as they could that day, and to the heroes that gave their lives in the process.
I hope we, as a country, will never forget September 11th and will move forward to embracing each other—regardless of our religion, race, or political beliefs. I believe that we need a spiritual revival in this country where we turn our eyes back to God and start living for Him. Even if you don’t agree with my statement about our need for spiritual revival, I hope you can agree with this statement—we need to stand together and as Sandy Dahl said, “…life is short and there is no time for hate.”
Will you continue to remember the tragedy of 9/11 so that we can be reminded to stand together as Americans—not Democrats, Republicans, Independents, black, white, or any other race? We need to take time today for a moment of silent reflection, so we can take personal responsibility for our own lives, actions, and words, and become better neighbors and Americans. God bless America. We are only going to get through these tough times as a nation, by standing together and not allowing hate to divide us.
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Pandora's Box Gazette.
She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, internet and media, travel and lifestyle, website content, app recommendations, and content for blogs.