September 11, 2001 is a day that will be forever imprinted on the minds of Americans. Americans across the country stood by helpless as hijacked planes crashed into three of our country’s most prized buildings. It was an attack that caught America blindsided.
After the attack on the World Trade Center took place and there were reports of more missing planes, American’s hearts were filled with fear.
On the University of Pittsburgh’s Oakland campus students could be seen traveling faster than normal across the campus. Many of them were trying to find a phone to get in touch with loved ones all over the east coast.
With a report that the plane that crashed in Somerset had actually crashed in Pittsburgh, phone lines in the dorm rooms rang off the hook as parents, grandparents, and friends called to make sure students where okay.
After the initial shock wore off, people were left filled with tons of questions. “Why would someone do this?” and “What are we going to do now?” are the two most prominent questions being asked. The truth is that no one has an answer for these questions.
Not only has the United States suffered incredible structural damage but it has also witnessed an inconceivable death toll. No one is willing to even estimate what the final number will be. When that question pops up the room generally falls silent, whether it’s at a press conference with a high ranking official or in a classroom.
As if watching the Twin Towers collapse and the Pentagon burn isn’t enough, Americans also have to face the fact that their soil just became the site for the worst terrorist attack in history.
That might prove to be one of the hardest things to deal with. Americans are not used to showing vulnerability and generally have the mindset that we are safe and immortal. It’s always a shock to see that the United States is the focal point of a terrorist cult.
President Bush got it right when he said, “ . . . terrorist acts can shake the foundation of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.” Because Americans carry a large amount of pride, we will never let some inhumane person or group defeat us.
Editors note: This article originally appeared in the October print edition of the Pittsburgh Standard
Give us your feedback if you agree or disagree
View other reader's feedback