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Our world changed when we watched those planes crash
Written by Trista Steers MacVittie   
Thursday, 15 September 2011 00:00

It’s hard to believe 10 years have passed since Americans watched in horror as two airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and one into a field near Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11, 2001.

Before that point, attacks by foreign groups seemed fairly distant.

We would see broadcasts of such acts on the news, but they mostly happened across oceans or on the other side of the world.

Americans felt safe in their homeland, and while domestic crime was always an issue, outside threats weren’t considered by the average American going about his or her daily life.

Recently, a radio personality talked about Americans remembering where they were on that September morning.

I remember my father waking me up and telling me a plane had crashed into a building in New York City.

I got up to watch the news coverage of the first plane with my family and watched live as the second hit.

When I was a child people talked about remembering exactly where they were when significant moments took place in the past — such as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. At that time, I did not understand the power a single act could have imprinting one’s memory with more detail than can be recalled from the majority of our lives.

I remember watching television all day at school while history unfolded before our eyes. Our teachers didn’t know what to tell us, but we all knew our world would change. I struggle to remember other mornings 10 years ago.

The tragic loss of lives aboard those airplanes and in those buildings sent a wave of shock across America shattering our belief we were safe from the conflicts of the world. The conflict arrived on our doorstep that morning.

Today, we’re more aware as a country of the battles fought for power, money, faith or ideology. Since Sept. 11, 2001, more men and women have died fighting to defend our country against future attacks and hunting down those who killed our own.

This Sept. 11, America claimed a victory. The man who claimed responsibility for the attacks and continued to threaten our country can do so no longer. Osama bin Laden died at the hands of an American Navy SEAL in April, almost 10 years after he orchestrated the killing of our men, woman and children.

On Sunday, Sept. 11, I hope you took a moment to remember where you were when you heard about the attacks. We still remember those innocent lives lost that day and the many more lost along the path our country has taken to fight terrorism since.


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