The Day in History: The tragedy of 911

Victoria McGinty and Bella Lee

Sept. 11 2001 is a tragic day in our modern history and it will not soon be forgotten. This tragedy shocked the world and redefined the ways in which we view violence and terrorism, among other things.

On this day in history, many lives were taken from us, and today we continue to mourn them each year. Known as the 9/11 attack, this tragedy continues to haunt the minds of many today.

The day began like any other. People getting ready for work, children ready for school, the world seemed to go on as it normally would. Although, what would unfold shortly after would forever change the world. The attacks began when nineteen militants associated with the extremist Islamic group, Al-Qaeda, hijacked four American airplanes. Of those four plans, two crashed into Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The other two plans, however, would crash into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City at 8:46 a.m. and then at 10:28 a.m. The destruction that came to follow would devastate the United States as a whole. Although, the greatest damage would be seen in New York City where the towers once stood.

On this day in history, almost 3,000 individuals across the country lost their lives. In response to the attacks, former President George W. Bush addressed the nation with one of the most somber yet hopeful ad-dresses in recent history. “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundation of our biggest build-ings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American re-solve,” said Bush. In response to the attacks, Operation Enduring Freedom sought to oust the Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Over the course of Fall 2001, US troops successfully removed the Taliban from operational power although it did not end the struggles completely. It was not until May 2, 2011, that Osama bin Laden was finally tracked down and assassinated by United States forces. Many US forces remained in the Middle East in the war effort and were finally all withdrawn in Aug. 2021.

Following the attacks, there came lots of grieving and yearn-ings for change. In wake of this tragedy, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 created the Department of Homeland Security under the Bush Administration.

Today, 9/11 remains tragic in our nation yet, the nation has implemented many ways to honor the numerous individuals we lost that day. First, Congress declaring Sept. 11 as “Patriot Day.” Second, the various memorials erected all across the country. Of the many, the Twin Towers memorial re-mains a haunted vigil in the heart of New York City where the tow-ers once stood. Lastly, the continued strive and patriotism within the hearts of Americans.

The tragedy also remains a large portion of our culture as well. Through musical adaptations such as “Come From Away” and various films such as “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Twenty years later we still mourn the tragedy that is 9/11 and as a nation, we strive to never see something of this gravity again. 9/11 is a tragedy that is still very heavy on American’s hearts, especially since it was a big anniversary this year. 9/11 will forever be one of the worst things the United States had to face as a country.