A series I had sincerely wanted to do weekly had fallen into the “to-do” stack. Today it is wrenched from monument which stands as a reminder of goals not yet accomplished. As our nation, and to some extent the world, remembers the attacks of 9/11 the desire to pull two seminal figures from the dialogue on US foreign policy and the struggle with terrorism was compelling. However, upon researching individuals I found a litany of quotes from a variety of people. Some are directly related to the day while others speak to the deeper problems of the cultural and political obstacles.
Then it happened. A man threw himself out of something like the 101st floor. Out of all the images during the day, that one remains with me the most. It’s the one that flipped my entire feeling about what was happening. It was in that moment that truly I realized this was way beyond anything we had ever handled.
Michael Walters (freelance photo journalist)
All of a sudden there were people screaming. I saw people jumping out of the building. Their arms were flailing. I stopped taking pictures and started crying.
Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.
Understand the causes of terror? Yes, we should try, but let there be no moral ambiguity about this: nothing could ever justify the events of September 11 and it is to turn justice on its head to pretend it could.
Therefore, the observation must be explicitly made: In the Middle East and in the Muslim world, suspicions linger concerning the objectives of the West and notably the US.
Altogether I knew 22 or 24 people who died, including that managing director who told us to get out. I go through the newspaper every year when they have the list of people who died, and I highlight the names of the people I used to know. Am I affected? Yeah. I’m dealing with a lot of survivor’s guilt.
We do it (publicly try to educate about our community) not only for ourselves, but because irrational fear of Islam and Muslims is bad for all Americans: it frays the social fabric of our society; it creates divisions between Americans; it affects the health of our democracy; and it affects the wisdom of our policy choices. In the last decade, I have encountered numerous Americans who understand this and who, despite the fear-mongers, have made remarkable efforts to connect with Muslims.
This is one of the few good things that came out of 9/11. People have become more globally aware. Students have been more interested in the language study and the historic culture of the region.
We must never forget legacy of that September day – a world drawn together in the common cause of freedom and our renewed devotion to it.
As we continue our campaign against the terrorists of September 11, let me make one point crystal clear: these murderers did not act on behalf of Muslims or on behalf of the poor and downtrodden of the world, or on behalf of Palestinians. Their terror was indiscriminate.
Perhaps September 11 could be called the first historic world event in the strictest sense: the impact, the explosion, the slow collapse – a gruesome reality literally took place in front of a global public.