Twelve Years After The Tragedy

Twelve Years After The Tragedy

Twelve years and a week after the events of 9/11 (September 11, 2013), the United States commemorates the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001 when terrorist crashed into popular landmarks in the US and killed thousands of people. Twelve years later, things seem to be back to normal.

At 8:46 A.M. the first plane flew into the North Tower, and just twenty minutes later, the second plane slammed into the South Tower.  The people of New York City were left reeling in fear and panic. Even in present day, the memorial dedicated to the victims of 9/11 is somber; it remains a place where the survivors and the families of the deceased still come to in search of solace, a place full of questions and memories about loved ones who were taken too soon. Even after a decade, Americans still vividly remember the events that took place on September 11, 2001.

Coral Gables AP American History teacher, Frank G. Cipriani, can still remember the nine-eleven attacks. He recalls the events of that fateful day, “I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a teacher at Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School, and another teacher came in and said something happened in New York City. I didn’t turn on the TV like a lot of people did, but by lunchtime I had an idea of what happened. I recall the students’ confusion. It was a high school and they had questions, so we spent a good time talking about it. The parents came later and got their kids. It was a tragedy.”

The event of 9/11 was a wake-up call to all of America that we were in real peril, but it was difficult to assess how much danger at the time of the attacks. Amid the turmoil, it was impossible to see the full scale of the implications that 9/11 would hold for America. Even now, we can see the consequences in our daily lives. There was a sharp increase in the monitoring of Americans and in security. All measures were taken to ensure that 9/11 never happen again.

Coral Gables teacher, James T. Dunn, who has taught at FIU and is currently a dual enrollment teacher at Gables said, “The basic issue with the implications of 9/11 is that it did restrain some of our civil liberties at the peripheries. I think that’s OK because liberties must have a stable support system. When that stability or the survival of nation is at stake, it jeopardizes the whole system. We were caught totally blindsided, and we didn’t know the depth of the dangers we were facing. If the whole thing went down the toilet, talks about liberties would be meaningless.”

There is still apprehension, and even hatred towards Muslims and Middle Easterners. Now we are at a cross roads where those who were too young to understand the events of 9/11 are reaching maturity. Sophomore Rafael Gonzalez said,”I know it’s changed our forging and domestic policies towards outsiders and changed a lot of stuff, not just in airports, like how the president runs the country and the decisions he makes. People I think are more afraid then they were before.”

Kasandra Scholz said,“I was around three when 9/11 happened. My parents have told me the story about what happened that day. They also told me about the hatred towards people who weren’t American: people who weren’t born here and people who don’t look American. The event of 9/11 made everyone less willing to accept others.”

In a single day, America was changed forever and was left crippled by the attacks. There was no protocol to follow and no regulations set by the government. It is difficult to understand the motivation behind such an act of hatred. We find ourselves asking what could spark so much anger as if to justify the murder of thousands of people. The event of 9/11 revolutionized the face of America. Suddenly, there was fear in the air and blood in the water.

Mr. Cipriani concluded saying, “I think that as more and more time goes on without a major event like 9/11 we become more and more complacent, relaxed, and I dare say, let our guard down. That’s unfortunate. If it were up to me, it would be mandatory viewing for every American on an annual basis because we forget. The generation coming up don’t remember because they were young, and very soon we will have a generation that was not alive then. They should be aware of it.”

America is at turning point in history.  We should not be quick to forget the events that happened that day or the lives, but we should never allow fear to rule our lives. America is a great nation, and not even 9/11 can ever stop that. No terrorist will ever be able to outshine the sacrifices Americans have made in the name of progress. We should honor those who died by fighting the hatred that caused it in the first place. Instead of fear, we should spread ideals of tolerance and respect, and send messages of peace and understanding. We must strive for a more equal and just nation where everyone is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.