9/11, Eleven years ago
Posted on Sep 11, 2012 in News
Eleven years ago, the world changed. On September 11, 2001 the United States was dealt a tragedy that by no means compares to anything the history of the nation had faced before.
Everyone was affected. But today, 11 years removed from that fateful day, our words and reactions can neither quell nor echo those of the students and faculty who were forced to absorb the shock of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa.
Full of anger, sadness and dismay, here are the reactions from UAB in a report by then news editor, Allison Barnes, printed on Sept. 18, 2001.
From September 18,2001
An impact and an explosion are what Melissa Cantley remembers most about last Tuesday’s attack on New York City’s World Trade Center. “I was at work, and I happened to walk into the break room right as the news coverage was going on,” she says. “I remember looking at the television just as the second plane was flying through the tower. I thought it was an accident – I couldn’t believe what was happening.”
Cantley, 23, says that her first reaction to the situation was immediate prayer. “We have a prayer meeting every morning at work, so we started to pray for the nation right away.”
Even amidst prayerful tones, anger’s voice was being heard. Many voiced anger about how the nation could let terrorists attack and cause such a great deal of damage and deaths. In addition, questions were raised about how the nation should respond to apparent acts of war.
“Our nation has been so callous about our freedoms – we hang it over the heads of other nations as if we’re great,” Cantley says. ‘’We’ve been spoiled, and this is a wake-up call. We’re not all that we thought we were.”
“Sometimes it takes things like this to make us open our eyes to exactly where we stand,” says Layla Carter, a senior majoring in music. “We think we have the power to annihilate other countries off the map, but maybe other countries have the power to annihilate us too, and we just don’t know it yet.”
Carter remembers that she was oblivious to the course of events because she was in class when the first crashed occurred. ‘’When I finally did see what was going on, I didn’t know exactly what was happening, but I knew it was big when I saw footage of the second plane striking one of the towers.”
“We’re at the same point that we were when Pearl Harbor was attacked,” Carter says. ‘’No matter how far we think we’ve advanced, the fact that this was still able to happen lets us know that changes need to be made.”
The resounding conclusion across campus is that, regardless of what course of action the nation takes, innocent people will die.
“It’s sad, but inevitable.” Carter says. “I really feel bad for the president because he has to make some hard decisions. I know the nation has got to do something.”
Students say they feel that it will be inevitable for foreigners to feel unsafe in our country and on the nation’s campuses.
“Yeah, it’s stupid that students would turn against students and try to hurt each other just because a student might be Arabic. But for a while, it’ll be inevitable that this type of persecution will happen,” says Jeremy Godwin, 19, from Illinois.
“Americans want someone to blame, someone to take their anger out on and until we can punish exactly who did this, we’ll be looking for a scapegoat. That scapegoat will probably be people living in America who are of Arabic decent, or who look like they are foreigners. It’s so ignorant,” Godwin says.
What Godwin fears the most, however, is that the worst is not over.
“Retaliation by the U.S. will happen. And then what? We see America united now, but in the coming weeks and months, we’ll see a division between people who are for going to war and people who are against war,” Godwin says.
Godwin didn’t hear of the incidents until he got home that night.
Although subtle at first, an echo of war began to grow last week as students learned more about the events happening in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.
Then as coverage opened up around the nation, the U.S. gained another perspective of the war.
“On the news they were showing adults and children in Arabic countries, and they were dancing in the streets and throwing candy,” a UAB communications student says. “My first reaction was that the U.S. should just blow all of them off the map.”
While deadly revenge was voiced by some students. Other options for putting an end to the matter came with calmer suggestions.
“You don’t want to take an innocent life for payment of another innocent life, that doesn’t make things right,” Carter says. “But, we still can’t just sit back and let destruction take its course. There needs to be some major peace talks, that’s the only way to end this.”
Jody Trautwine, a teacher at Cathedral Christian School, agrees that his reaction to last week’s turn of events have been focused on finding a way for peace.
“If the nation reacts correctly, this can be the end of such terrible events. If not, this will just continue to happen,” says Trautwine. “If the country wants to find the answers to this, we’ll have to stand on our foundation – we’ll have to look to Christ.”
Trautwine agrees that finding all of the attack’s perpetrators will be difficult for this country.
“We have some intelligence that will allow us to identify and catch some of the terrorists, but once we try to find terrorists in their own homelands, it will become much more difficult. They’ll be among their own and will be able to hide among their own people.”
Trautwine says it will take the cooperation of a nation to bring an end to terrorism and to turn around the events that continue to take place.
For Saroj Hardit, a 20-year-old UAB student, her call on what will happen next is firm. “We’re going to have to strike back, and if the worst comes, this could blow up into an all out third world war.”
That’s just what many UAB students are afraid of the prospect of the world entering into a massive war.
“It’s really scary,” says Jeneshia Abrams, 18, a freshman. “Our generation has never seen anything like this. I mean, we hear stories from our parents and grandparents and we just can’t relate because those stories aren’t real to us. Their stories are more like something out of a movie. But when you see pictures of what happened last week, you know this is real.”
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