Why Do We Learn About 9/11


Business Insider

The Twin Towers before the September 11th Terrorist Attacks

Matthew Messina, Writer

Why Do We Learn About 9/11?

“…18 years ago 246 people went to sleep in preparation for their morning flights. 2,606 people went to sleep in preparation for work in the morning. 343 firefighters went to sleep in preparation for their morning shift. 60 police officers went to sleep in preparation for morning patrol. 8 paramedics went to sleep in preparation for the morning shift. None of them saw past 10:00am on Sept 11, 2001…”

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 It has been an unofficial tradition to teach children about the September 11th terrorist attacks on it’s anniversary for the past 17 years. I feel it is safe to say that Americans will never feel quite like they did on September 11th, 2001, ever again.

Another example of an unexpected terrorist attack was on December 7th, 1941, when Japan ambushed our navy units in Pearl Harbor. And yet another on April 15th, 2013, only 6 short years ago. Bombs were placed at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. However, nobody instantly recognizes the dates 12/7 or 4/15. While I’m not one to compare tragedies, I believe that 9/11 was the perfect storm of events.

 2001 was a completely different America from the year 2019. That morning, when the Northern Twin Tower was struck, very few people immediately pointed to an attack – Every news station assumed it was some sort of accident. However, it wasn’t until the second tower was struck that people started to understand the situation. 

In this age of social media we live in, the evil of the world has been more than prevalent to us. We see police brutality, gun violence, and assorted acts of anarchy almost daily. We have become desensitized to terrorism, to the point where it doesn’t shock us as much as it did only 18 years ago. If something similar happened in 2019, we all would’ve assumed it was terrorism immediately. To fully understand what happened that day, and how frightening it was for Americans, many of us who didn’t live through it must put ourselves in the shoes of somebody from 2001. 

Additionally, an attack like Pearl Harbor was targeted towards our military. While it was a day that will forever live in infamy, men in the forces expect to attacked more than the average citizen. That was truly the scariest part of 9/11. The people attacked weren’t politicians, or our military, but on the everyday American workers. It was meant to be an attack on the United States’ economy, which is why they attacked the World Trade Center. The everyday working man was the target of the deadliest terrorist attack in human history. Working men like Scott Rohner, a high school classmate to Holbrook’s own, Mr. Bayerdorer.

“…I realized one reason I had earned that spot was because he pushed me so hard in practice. Scott unfortunately died in the North Tower on September 11th at 22 years old.  He was only a month into his first job after college…” 

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Scott was one 3000+ who lost their lives that day. For all of these reasons, it makes perfect sense why this is still considered the scariest day in American history. To attack American citizens in 2001 was something our country had rarely seen before. It was the only time in American history that all air travel was grounded. 

However, I find it inspiring that George Bush, the night of the attacks, proclaimed, “Today, our nation saw evil — the very worst of human nature — and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could…The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.” 

While we were changed from the experience, and set new regulations in our airports, we didn’t let the terrorists win. That’s what I think we should all take away from the September 11th terrorist attacks. While many call it the worst day in American history, all it did was bring out the best in our country. I believe that 9/11 should become a national holiday of remembrance for the victims that day, and the family and friends they had to leave behind. I hope that teachers continue to teach us about these attacks, as it is a vital chapter in our history as a country.