In Memory of 9/11


Allison McCall, Staff Writer

For many, September 11 is a solemn day, but nonetheless, a day that goes by quickly and blends into the busy start of school and work. This year marks 20 years since two hijacked planes crashed into the twin towers, crushing the center of commerce in America and the hearts of millions across the country. This year especially, it is important that we take time to reflect on the lives lost and the effect this disaster had on the world around us.

The morning of September 11, 2001 was incredibly normal. Business men and women made their way to work, tourists stopped at coffee stands, and the hustle and bustle of New York City was alive. It was at 7:13 that the whole world turned on their televisions to see a horrifying sight. Smoke was spilling out of one of the twin towers, and panic was settling. Firefighters and first responders rushed to the scene, only to see a second plane hit the other building. The next three hours were long, confusing, and heartbreaking. Families cried out for one another and people sprinted down the street trying to outrun the dark, dreary smoke that was upon the once sunny streets. That day, 2,750 people died in New York City. As we reflect on 9/11, we must honor those who fought in the destruction. It is easy to see the events of September 11th as long past, but let us continue to pay our respects with diligence and vulnerability to those who lost their lives.

In the year 2000, it was completely normal to walk through the airport with your shoes securely on your feet, and hardly anyone recognized the name Osama Bin Laden. When the twin towers collapsed, the posture of America was forever changed. We can most prominently see the effects in travel.

Airports are stricter than ever, and for many people flying has become more of a hassle than a blessing. Waiting in long lines, emptying your pockets, and walking barefoot is not a comfortable experience, but it is a vital one that keeps everyone safe. In the years following 9/11, airports struggled to get people to fly because of the one thing the whole nation was plagued by: fear. We are lucky today to have such a safe way to travel. Next time you find yourself sighing as you untie your shoelaces, remember what all of these precautions represent.

As a student, I often find it hard to fully grasp the vastness of 9/11. I could read hundreds of textbooks or watch hundreds of documentaries and still not understand the tragedy. In my search for clarity, I talked to my mom who was studying at Pepperdine University on September 10, 2001. She told me about the sky outside her window, which was always full of air traffic coming in and out of LA. She said the emptiness in the sky was something she’d never seen before, and although it was a beautiful view, it caused uneasiness to settle in her heart. Hearing the stories of the people I’m close to has brought me to a greater understanding of 9/11, and the impact it has had on my generation. I believe talking to the people who experienced 9/11 and learning their legacy is the greatest way we can honor the lost lives.
“What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.” -Author David Levithan


Image taken from Harvard Business Review (