Everyone remembers where they were when they learned of the Sept. 11 attacks, but that won’t always be the case.
Will Sept. 11 one day be remembered as the attacks on Pearl Harbor are remembered today? That is, will the commemoration of the worst terrorist attack in American history be merely a blip on the nation’s conscience on future Sept. 11s?
After a long weekend of events and wall-to-wall television coverage recalling the day the Pentagon was struck and the towers came down, we’re struck wondering what future generations will learn from events and our response to them.
It’s difficult to predict, because we’re not sure what we’ve taken away from it. Americans remain divided on the war in response. Some of our friends and family recall the horror of that day with tears; For others, footage of the Sept. 11 attacks sparks fresh anger.
Ten years after the terrorist attacks, as we still try to wrap our minds around what occurred and how those violent acts changed the world, we like to remember one of the many miracles of that day.
Perhaps the most moving tribute to the American ideal took place on United flight 93. On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, 33 passengers and four hijackers boarded that transcontinental flight. The Boeing 757 aircraft was scheduled to Newark, NJ, to San Francisco.
Forty-six minutes after take-off, hijackers took control of the cockpit. We still don’t know where they intended to go, but officials theorize terrorists hoped to crash the plane into the White House or the U.S. Capitol Building. It was the only one of four planes hijacked that day that didn’t reach its intended target.
From passenger phone calls and flight box analysis, we know that the brave men and women on that aircraft likely saved countless lives by selflessly risking their own. Of course, we all know how the story ends.
The passengers’ attempt to overtake the flight controls resulted in the aircraft’s demise in a field near Shanksville, Penn. Everyone on board the aircraft perished.
Although Sept. 11, 2001 was a day filled with confusion, those passengers showed true courage and heroism. It is fitting that we remember them as well as the countless men and women who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks. Long after we’re gone, we hope future generations will pause and recall on Sept. 11.