Twenty years later, 9/11 still matters

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photo or infographic by Hannah Hartman

20 YEARS LATER. As September 11 approaches, it is time to remember the heroes and victims of 9/11.

by Hannah Hartman, VOW Features editor

The morning of Sept. 11, 2001, four coordinated attacks from an Islamist terrorist group, led by al-Qaeda, hijacked airplanes and attacked against key places in the United States.

Two of those planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, ending the lives of 2,996. A third plane was flown into the Pentagon right outside of Washington D.C., causing a massive fire to break out on the western side of the Pentagon. The fourth plane crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where men gave their lives to stop the terrorists.

This event caused realizations, understandings and the definition of true character. As the nation approaches the 20 year anniversary 

“It is important to remember the events on 9/11 to commemorate the lives that were lost in that horrific occurrence,” senior Mason Burris said. “Innocent people and first responders lost their lives to save people from an act of terrorism. I may have not personally been alive during those times, but I have heard family members’ experiences and their feelings during that time. We should choose to remember to ensure that we as a nation can make sure an event like that doesn’t happen to this country again.” 

Although this happened before the current students were born, this event is still remembered today. 

“September 11 was a really big event that led to a war,” sophomore Kaley Hall said. “I think people should remember 9/11 because of its importance to our history and the impact it had and still has on society today.” 

Many people were witnesses to the events of 9/11, and share their own stories with others to make sure it’s remembered. 

“I was in fifth grade when I learned about it, and I remember just being shocked and really sad because of the devastation,” junior Vivienne McConnell-Tatsch said. “My teacher was a college student in New York during the attack and from what she told me I think that other people should remember 9/11 because it shows how many unplanned events can take place and that anything can happen at any moment.” 

This event has had a different impact on everyone, and most people interpret it differently. 

“My Nana was in New York during the attack of 9/11,” junior Sumer Gunaratne said. “I learned about it in my history class, and I thought it was scary how people could do such a terrible thing to others and cause such devastation to our history.” 

It is a day that will not be forgotten.

“My friend Gabby is from New York, and her dad was at work when the towers came down,” freshman Audrie Call said. “I found out about 9/11 in elementary school and always knew it was important for American history. People should remember 9/11 because it’s one of the most important days in the USA and the first responders and people who fight for our country should be honored.” 

September 11 caused tears and sorrow, but the effects it had brought back unity and light to people’s lives. 

“I myself was not alive in 2001, but my father was,” senior Jennifer Talley said. “On the night of the tenth he was up all night with his wife in the hospital. They were both in the army at the time and she had gone into labor. He went to go to the cafeteria to finally eat something and noticed a bunch of nurses huddled around a t.v. After he watched the second plane hit the tower he got a call from his mom, his grandfather passed away. All at once, he was struggling with exhaustion, hunger, the fear of being a father and mourning his grandfather. To this day 9/11 is something we discuss in the Talley household. To me, it is a national remembrance, a time where the country was brought together as a whole for the first time since WWII.”