Sunday, September 11, 2016

15 Years Since Life Changed

Every visiting tourist had to have this photo
of the WTC towers.
Today marks 15 years since the world changed.

Many times when you say something like that, it's an overstatement or cliche. With 9/11, it's just about right.

The world changed on 9/11 when four hijacked airplanes came down in United States airspace.  Nearly 3,000 people became innocent victims, but the toll could have been so much more disturbingly high.  Had the World Trade Center towers have fallen more quickly or had the plane hit another part of the Pentagon or had Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania been allowed to reach its intended target, more would have died.

2,977 souls left this Earth that day because they boarded an airplane, went to work, visited a friend or tried to save lives.

Nineteen others not counted in that number died trying to take down the American way of life with a twisted view of Islam.

That doesn't even account for those that have died in the War on Terror that continues as we speak.

The rest of us that were alive on September 11, 2001 and that were old enough to know what was happening will forever remember where we were and the feelings that we had.  The horrible day unites us like perhaps no other event in our lives.  It was a shared experience that affected us all in different ways.  It's a shared time capsule of life.

One thing is still for sure. Life isn't the same as it was at 8:45 a.m. on September 11, 2001.  That was the last minute of life before the terror attacks.  That was before the fuselage of American Airlines Flight 11 poked through the facade of 1 World Trade Center.

We were a little more innocent then.  We were a little more trusting then.  We were maybe much more naive.  In the next minute, we were horrified, and the scars still remain.

The scars have healed a bit.  The survivors and the families of those lost that day have moved on somehow.  Ground Zero is now the National 9/11 Museum as the beautiful new World Trade Center rises from the ground around it.  The Pentagon shows no signs of damage where the plane hit it, and the gash in the field in Shanksville has long since been cleared.

The scars are still there though.  They're still there though right under the skin.  You can feel them every 9/11.  The memories flood back like ghosts from the depths of the mind.

Yes, 15 years ago, the world changed...and so did life as we know it.

No comments: