Share your thoughts on the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacksTwo years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, America has unmistakably changed. Yet, as time heals the emotional and physical wounds of that day, many aspects of life have returned to the way they were. What are your thoughts on this, the second anniversary of the disaster? Has the nation taken to heart the lessons of that searing event? Are we safer today than we were? Or are we at greater peril? How do you rate the job the Bush administration has done combatting terrorism? And what is your opinion on the rebuilding of Ground Zero? What should rise there, and what should the victims' memorial look like?
September 11th will always be a date to be reflected on by Americans with great remorse and a defiance to the evil in this world that is inflicted on innocent people everyday. Today I reflect on the day with a heaviness in my heart and I pause to remember the lives lost as a result of September 11th and the war that would soon follow it. God Bless all those who are laid to rest, and the family, friends, and fellow citizens that mourn them...
I was a student at George Washington University in the heart of Washington, DC on Sept 11, 2001. It's one thing to see images of horiffic events on television. It is quite another to go to the roof of your building and see black smoke and flames arising from the Pentagon and to hear the booms and the sounds of sirens and nothing else. Had the White House been hit, I probably wouldn't be alive today, since my school was 5 blocks away from the White House. I was an international affairs major and speaking from that perspective, I hope that if the nation has been able to take anything away from the past 2 years, it's that we can no longer be complacent about terrorism and think that we are untouchable. We may be the most powerful country in the world and command the largest forces, but on Sept, 11 we were vulenerable. Are we safer now then 2 years ago? I don't know if anyone can be safe from something that has no face. But I think that at least now, the average American knows more about terrorism than ever before and knowledge is better than ignorance. But we can't stop there, We must continue to learn and understand the events and issues that go on outside American borders. Though something may be happening happening on the other side of the world in a place that we can't even find on a map, it still has the very real possibility of effecting us in the long run, as we have seen. Knowing what's going on in the world is a crucial step towards being safer.
Ann, Lowell, MA
2 years have past, I can't believe how quickly time will pass. I can still vividly remember being called out of my office to come watch TV. Something awful happened in NYC. Someone really screwed up and drove a plane into the WTC. Still watching 15 minutes later, we watched the second plane hit ... live on TV. It was unreal. It was not happening. Was that an instant replay of ... It was right then we all knew that this was no accident. I can remember feeling my own fear and I could see it in my co-workers eyes. I remember having to get through a full day of work that day and coming home to watch the news, and the days following watching and crying for the people desperately looking for their loved one. I know that no one will ever forget where they were that day or how it made them feel to watch what happened to our country that day. I will never forget my nephew asking one day if a newly constructed building was recently bombed; he was only 7 years old. It is easy to feel helpless. Our "leaders" make decisions mostly, I believe, without our consent, but in our country's best business interest. I do believe that Bush has made our country more "safe" if safe means that you have to stand in line and get searched to go into the post office. I pray for the victims, their families and our troops of younger men and women who are dying to protect us from a world of people who do not understand what it means to be an American and live in the greatest country in the world. God Bless America :)
Should we rebuild? It is a difficult question. Much was lost. But know that today in America people will be married. Children will be born. Little League games will be played. The sun has already risen, and the sun will set. Life goes on, unabated. It is in this continuance that the lives lost on September 11th, 2001 are memorialized. It has been said before that the human spirit has an amazing endurance and strength. It has always been my belief that nowhere is this more true than in America. But changed. I was not before, am not now, nor will be in charge of such weighty affairs as America's foreign policy. As an individual American I will continue to live my life as I always have--perhaps being more grateful for the things I have often taken for granted. The wisdom of our actions since this tragedy is beyond my knowledge and best left to abler minds. But I am not blind. I see cycles of violence spiraling out of control. I see the proliferation of nuclear weapons. I see unrest and resentment both among other people and among my own. And I grow weary of death. Of war. Of tragedy. We have never been a war-like people. It is true, never have we cowered when called upon, needed, or attacked--but still, we are no warmongers. Yet we have been to war twice in as many years. With the possibility of more wars to come. We are losing ourselves. We can no longer rightfully be called a peaceful country. I fear that in this loss the true memorial to the victims of September 11th, the spirit of the United States, which all the victims of that day loved, will be forever altered. Whatever memorial is built of stone, marble, glass and steel, it will not outlast our republic. This American experiment we are all engaged in must stay true to its purpose. The victims of September the 11th were no lovers of war. And so I say to remember them we should seek peace. And we should seek it with vigour.
Chris, The Fenway
As cruel and cowardly as 9/11 was, such a catastrophic event was predictible. Lets look at the record of America without bias, how we have brutalized other smaller countries thruout the world. In Iraq in 1953, we overthrew a democratically-elected government and established a pro-US oil dictatorship. In the process, we trained and equipped the notorious SAVAK, the Shah`s security police who tortured and murdered thousands of people who opposed our puppet regime. Thousands of the Iranian victims today still remember this cowardly act. Only recently has ex-Secretary of State Madeline Albright admitted our culpability. In Guatamala in 1954 again we covertly overthrew a democratically elected government because it opposed United Fruit Corp domination of their economy. Here again, we set up a despotic military regime, armed and equipped it, while it again tortured and murdered thousands of its own people, mainly landless peasants who wanted a voice in their future. Belatedly, Pres. Clinton apologized to the Guatamalan people for this brutal chapter in US relations. Today, there are still thousands of survivors of our murderous policy. The same history of US -sponsored blood-letting has occurred in Indonesia, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua and throuout Afrrica. The predicable result was a furious attack against innocent Americans on 9/11 while the real policy-makers went unscathed. And our foreign policy remains unchanged.
Jerry, Frederick, Md
So sad and yet we find the strength to go on, together.
In addition to the families that lost loved ones, let's not forget the many thousands who narrowly escaped, but are haunted with the memories of that day. While those of us not directly affected think of that day quite often, friends of mine who made it out of the towers often have sleepless nights and difficult days. To all of you, your friends and family are always here for you, night and day.
We'll never forget where we were, nor will life ever be the same. I remember standing in line at the Red Cross center in Peabody, helpless to do anything but that, with hundreds of others in the same boat. With my first child on the way in one month, I felt regret for bringing a child into the world at that moment. I remember taking a flight to Florida from Logan on September 19th. The airport was a hybrid of a ghost town and military post. Nobody questioned the heightened security; it was in fact embraced. People were kinder than usual. On a flight that typically is full, there were 10 of us, and nobody talked. I wrote a letter to my unborn that day, sharing the feeling. Occassionally, I pull it out of a file and read it. I think of the fathers and mothers that died that day, and how they didn't have an opportunity to write a letter. The feeling of helplessness returns, and I hug my son. Life has gone on, and now I see the world through his eyes. For his sake, I will never forget that day and will never forget that the world is now a different place. I find myself reminding people of that when security lines at the airport back up. I watch as the US enters war in the Middle East. The old me would have questioned why we had to police the world. The new me questions why we have not been as diligent in the past. Never forget.
Jeff, Beverly, MA
I know it made me re-evaluate my life in two ways: 1) Am I living my life the way I want, enjoying life and having the right priorities, not wasting my time on meaningless crap? Life is too short to waste. and 2) What am I doing to make a positive difference in the world? It is easy to feel helpless in the face of such tragedy, so each of us should ask ourselves what we can do to make some positive impact in the world around us.
I remember the drive in on 9/11. I thought it was a minor accident As the events unfolded, I was rivetted to the news. We all felt confused, then seething anger. I felt proud of the firefighters, and police who risked all to do their duty. I still feel proud of them. 9/11 is the wake up call. We have people out their who would harm us but we have police, firefighers, and soldiers determined to protect us. God Bless them and protect them all. God Bless the USA and all nations desiring and defending freedom!