911 is An Event that Changed America and Continues to Do So

Lee HansenStarred Page By Lee Hansen, 3rd Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/egy0t7-d/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>True Stories

I, like many were riveted to the horrific and heart-wrenching scenes taking place in the United States of America on that fateful day of September 11, 2001. It's a reminder of how much the world has changed.

Where I Was

At the time I was still working with the local school district as an office manager. I remember looking out the window daydreaming as to what the day would be like. In my wildest dreams seeing this terrorist activity unfolding before the eyes of the nation was not something on my radar screen. We kept a small television in our office and turned it on after we were alerted as to what was happening.

We frantically flicked through the major television networks of CBS, ABC, and NBC. They were all reporting the same thing. Something had happened at the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City. But there was also something going on at the Pentagon as well an airplane crash in a Pennsylvania field.

No! No! Not my country.

Images Seen

I'll never forget seeing those huge billows of smoke displayed on the screen. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me when I saw people jumping from those towers. I saw airplanes crashing into these same buildings. My attention was then drawn to people running aimlessly with tears streaming down their soot-filled faces. The alarms of fire trucks, police and emergency personnel were blaring at an ear-piercing pitch.

Relatives in the Area

My thoughts then turned to several family members who either lived near and/or worked in the area. Were they safe or caught up in the tragedy taking place? It was a restless couple of hours until we knew they were all safe. But then we got the unfortunate news that a friend of my sisters had been one of the thousands of innocent victims.

Places of Worship Were Crowded

People were looking for answers in the local and national community. Places of worship were opened to offer some sort of comfort and solace. It seemed that there was a gravitation towards things spiritual or religious in tone. America was hurting and looking for a place to heal and to mourn. And those who routinely attended church on Sundays noticed larger crowds for several weeks after the 911 attacks.

Observations, New Respect and Sympathy

In the aftermath of these events I observed several things. Rigid standards were immediately implemented at airports for the safety of its traveling passengers. I noticed the many volunteers at Ground Zero which spurred others all over the country to help out in practical ways through volunteering, and giving donations and contributions to the Red Cross. People uttered the words, "I love you" a lot more frequently because they knew tomorrow was not promised to them anymore. And yes I noticed the apprehension in the eyes of some when they saw someone of a different descent or race. Antennas of suspicion reared their ugly head.

While I have always been grateful for those wearing the uniform, I have a new found respect for those serving in the military. And there are not enough words to thank the emergency services that are part of the fire and police departments. I admire those who escaped to safety but went back trying to rescue or help others.

And for those heroes and sheroes who died trying to detour further tragedy on that plane in Pennsylvania, I salute you as well.

My heart aches for those who were directly affected by the loss of loved ones. You have my heart-felt sympathy.

Proud to Be an American

I know that as a country we have our fair share of problems. But then don't other countries too?

I love my country and pray for its leaders on both side of the political aisle on a regular basis. It matters not what party I may be affiliated with because first and foremost I am an American.

Even though we experienced these tragic events, America has proven to be a strong nation. I know that because I have seen how resilient we can be, even in the midst of tragedy. There's no other place I would rather be. I am proud to be an American.

May God Bless the United States of America and may Liberty always be the Victor.


Credit: Pictures by Wikimedia Commons

Tags

911, Airplane, Airplane Crashed Into Pentagon, Airport, Airport Security, America, American Flag, American Flag At Ground Zero, Churches, Emergency Personnel, Firefighters, God Bless America, Ground Zero, Heros And Sheros, Military, New York City, Police, September 11Th, September 11Th 2001, Terroist Attacks, Terrorism, Twin Towers, World Trade Center

Meet the author

author avatar Lee Hansen
As a breast cancer survivor I have learned to take time to smell the roses in life. I love sharing my passion of reading to children. My pages will be on various topics.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
6th Sep 2014 (#)

I have often wondered whether the leaders of Al-Qaeda who planned 911 were really aware of what they were doing, and whether they appreciated what the consequences would be.

I have always understood Al-Qaeda to be a fairly loose organisation, and it would not surprise me to learn that there were senior members of it who were furious at what some of its members had done, given the reaction that ensued.

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author avatar Lee Hansen
6th Sep 2014 (#)

John it makes you wonder how could a person or terrorist group inflict such pain and cruelty and then laugh about it.

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author avatar Retired
6th Sep 2014 (#)

I agree, but there are many people across the world who would ask similar questions about the indifference of some Americans to the suffering that they regard as having been inflicted on their people by American actions.

911 was not a one-off action, thought up by somebody who, for no apparent reason, suddenly decided to kill as many Americans as they could. It was a reaction to hurts already suffered, and the reason why it had such an impact was that it was a rare instance of an act of war that affected civilians on the American mainland.

There were reasons behind 911 - reasons that most people in the west would reject as invalid, certainly - but reasons that were (and are) deeply felt in many parts of the world. This was not the Arab world hitting at America, it was the Arab world hitting back.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
6th Sep 2014 (#)

Heartfelt post, thanks Lee. It was night time in Singapore and I returned home after a game of tennis; I thought it was a horror movie I was watching on TV - it made no sense till facts sank in. It is worthwhile to analyze what drove these people to commit such cruelty. Imagine if they had access to nuclear bombs - it is a possibility now. I still repeat there is no alternative but for the big powers to unite to fight for peace and that is what everyone is yearning for - except, of course, the very few - siva

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author avatar Lee Hansen
6th Sep 2014 (#)

I agree with you Siva. It scares me to know that nuclear bombs could in fact used to inflict yet even more harm. The problem can only be solved when the big powers put their egos aside and roll up their sleeves to work together for a workable and peaceful solution. While it may not be easy it is for the greater good of mankind everywhere.

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author avatar Mariah
6th Sep 2014 (#)

Outstanding Tribute to all those who suffered horrifically on 911..

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author avatar Lee Hansen
6th Sep 2014 (#)

Thank you Mariah. May they never be forgotten.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
7th Sep 2014 (#)

Lee, I will always remember where I was and what I was doing that day. I will never be able to understand why so many died. Thanks for sharing a part of our history.

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author avatar Retired
7th Sep 2014 (#)

The number who died was almost entirely due to the number of people who were in the buildings at the time, plus the fact that evacuation did not take place fast enough - the authorities did not foresee that the buildings would actually collapse like packs of cards. It is also amazing to me that the second tower was not evacuated immediately after the first tower was hit.

Clearly the blame for the disaster lies with the perpetrators, but part of the blame for the number of victims lies elsewhere. The world might be mourning 500 deaths rather than 3000 if all emergency procedures had been activated correctly.

Part of the blame must also be laid at the doors of the airport authorities at Boston who allowed four planes to take off with armed terrorists aboard. I remember very well hearing reports before 911 about how lax security was at US airports - it would have been impossible, for example, for weapons to have got through British airport security at the time. The terrorists simply exploited a gaping hole in US security, and there is an argument that the possibility of such an event should have been foreseen.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Security is a good point, and something those of us in the US cannot put more simply -- logic is lacking in American security. This is true for the presence of guns, the violence in our schools, the bombings of our federal buildings and our athletic events. We spend so much time policing people we know are good, and attempting to reserve judgment on those we do not know, that it has become easy for terrorists to walk among us and wreak havoc. It does not take excessive cunning to defeat the systems, because people get caught up in the rules and abandon common sense. They think everyone should speak only English, and so as a nation, we don't understand whether someone is giving us a compliment in Arabic or issuing a Jihad on us. We are terrible to our black neighbor, to our spanish-speaking neighbor -- failing to realize that every divide we have is a crack through which a terrorist may slip. We assault 90 year old women and autistic children for their small personal items on planes -- and yet SOMEHOW MISS the weapons arsenal. We lock all the doors of our schools, and never imagine that a shooter would just shoot through the glass or arrange for an open window to let themselves inside. We blamed Islam for the federal building bombing in Oklahoma City, but the bomber was a white man and a former armed services member. Another white man with the brains to graduate college with a PhD in medicine went to a Colorado theater and shot people watching Batman. We take guns away from the lawful and we can't keep them off the black market. Same with drugs. And we fight over what is petty instead of facing the real problems we face.
I hope in the future, our country can be strong enough to face the real problems. I want to help in any way I can.

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author avatar Lee Hansen
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Phy you have made some very excellent and valid points. We live in such uncertain times.Your last few sentences is something I hope will happen too.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks. I wrote a 9/11 article today and gave your "sheroes" and you a hat-tip in it. Thanks for my word of the week (and beyond)!

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author avatar Lee Hansen
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Phyl Thanks so much. I'm honored.

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author avatar Lee Hansen
7th Sep 2014 (#)

Nancy I will never understand either. Simply a travesty.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
7th Sep 2014 (#)

John, great points. I hope our security is tight enough to prevent anything like this from happening again.

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author avatar Retired
7th Sep 2014 (#)

Thank you for writing this remembrance, Lee. It's something that changed us forever ... and feels as fresh today as it did then. God Bless You.

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author avatar Lee Hansen
7th Sep 2014 (#)

Susan it is something that leaves a lingering imprint on the heart.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
8th Sep 2014 (#)

Powerful Remembrance Lee- and as you have said so well stated above Lee "an imprint on all our hearts" forever...

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author avatar Lee Hansen
9th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks D. Remembering them always keep them close to the heart.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Lee -- I had to respond to John's comment, because it is so important to recognize not only that we need better security but to recognize HOW to better that security. I can guess at some point you've been wrongfully harassed by law enforcement. I have, too. So it isn't just that security is lacking, but that it is misguided and sometimes motivated by factors other than the safety and well-being of all.

Aside from that, I love your word "sheroes." Did you coin that? I absolutely love it. And you have a new follower in me. Thanks so much.

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author avatar Lee Hansen
11th Sep 2014 (#)

No problem Phyl. I love the term too because it recognizes women too. It is not original with me but love it just the same. Thanks for your following me.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Absolutely. My pleasure! ;)

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