9/11: Twelve Years, Still Tears

Courtesy+of+http%3A%2F%2F02varvara.wordpress.com%2F+and+www.flikr.com+

Courtesy of http://02varvara.wordpress.com/ and www.flikr.com

Ashleigh Hollowell, Editor

Today, September 11, 2013, marks the twelve year anniversary of four of the most horrendous terrorist attacks on our country by the Islamic terrorist group Al Qaeda. Four passenger planes were hijacked by members of Al Qaeda to be flown into national buildings on suicide attacks. Two of the four planes were flown into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, New York, later causing them to collapse. A hijacked plane was also flown into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense) in Arlington County, Virginia.  The final plane was originally targeted for Washington, DC, but passengers attempted to regain control and the plane crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All of these acts of terror resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people on that day.

This began the infamous “War on Terror” which just recently ended after eleven years. During those eleven years over in Afghanistan and Iraq, there were 6,693 American Soldier deaths and 50,422 wounded. During the eleven years at war, we vicariously witnessed the fall of the Taliban government, destruction of Al Qaeda camps, Taliban rebellion and insurgency, war in north and west Pakistan, the killing of Osama Bin Laden (one of Al Qaeda’s former top leaders), the fall of the Ba’ah government in Iraq, the execution of Saddam Hussein (another top leader), free elections, as well as shifting public support for the Pakistani government.

As a tribute to the civilians killed on September 11, 2001, in March of 2006 construction began for a national monument for the victims where the World Trade Center towers once stood, engraved with the 2,983 deceased individuals names, and a fountain where each  tower once stood. The monument was finished in 2011 and opened to the public on the ten year anniversary of the tragic event.

It has now been twelve years since that awful day. Our country has rebuilt and taken numerous security measures including putting tighter regulations on travel to ensure safety as much as possible for citizens. We have fought our war and brought down many of the most destructive and dangerous parts of terrorist organizations, and although these groups are far from being completely overthrown, we have made many advancements in making the safety for millions of people more secure.

This day is not one that will ever be forgotten in America. For too many American people, the pain and suffering inflicted upon them was very real and unjust. As a result, the memories from September 11, 2001 will still be felt for generations to come. However, the nation as a whole was able to rehabilitate, take action and move forward for what we are known for: never giving up.