"Any fool can make history, but it takes a genius to write it."
Oscar Wilde

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In Memory of September 11

Like most Americans, I watch videos of the Twin Towers with horror. Seeing the Trade Centers
crashing to the Earth, I feel like something in me is going down with them. Why did they do that? Why did they attack the America of 2001: peaceful, rich, and employed?
I don't think the skyline of New York is as good without those Towers, once the highest in the world. Without them, our greatest city is not as brilliant; not as beautiful. Now, not only is the skyline altered, but it is darkened by the deaths of 3000 people. Every time I see New York without the Towers, I think of 9/11, and every time I see New York with the Towers, I wonder how many people who were in the Towers when the photo was taken perished on September 11. To think that terrorists were even able to do that sickens me. Their motives sicken me more. These people attacked the civilians of the United States, the workers, the businessmen and women. They thought that to combat America, their only hope was to kill her people. People who believe in this doctrine are vile creatures, and so far as I'm concerned, there is no such thing as a "war crime" against them or those who support them. Mercy is not to be shown to those do not intend, and did not show mercy to us.
On September 11, a beautiful Tuesday morning, two hijacked American Airline planes crashed into the Twin Towers: one at 8:46 a.m., and another on 9:03 a.m. The South Tower fell at 9:59 a.m., and the North followed at 10:28 a.m. Both taking with them thousands of workers, fire fighters, and policemen. 2,606 people died in the Trade Centers, 411 of them were emergency workers, and the remaining 2,195 were civilian businessmen and women.
I have often thought about how I would have escaped these burning towers if I was above the point of impact, and I usually concluded that I would have gone to the roof, but I recently learned that the doors to the top level were locked. Imagine the horror of finding that you had no hope of escape. 90% of the casualties in the towers were at or above the points of impact. In the North Tower, about 1,355 people were trapped above the point of impact, and subsequently died. Only 107 people below the point of impact died, leaving to imagination how many actually escaped from below the crash. In the South tower, 630 people died, partially thanks to the fact that people left the building or did not enter the South Tower when the North Tower was struck, and that one stairway remained intact,  so some of those above the point of impact were able to escape.
90 nations lost citizens in the collapse of the Twin Towers, along with the other attacks on September 11.  The North and South Towers, World Trade Centers 3 through 7, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the Deutsche Bank Building, and two buildings of the World Financial Center all suffered significant damage or total destruction.
Personally, I am not ready to forgive for the destruction of the Twin Towers. Whenever I think about this subject, anger builds inside me, not so much for the loss of 3000 people (this, while ghastly, has been sustained by the United States, and many other countries before), but by our incredible inability to pinpoint and punish those responsible for the attacks. The killing of Osama bin Ladin should not be the end of America's hunt for justice. Unfortunately, the deaths of 919,967 people in the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of 9/11 is only further adding to the death toll of that horrible day in September. Every soldier, civilian, or policeman who dies in our War on Terror is another death caused by the attacks on September 11. Is justice being done? I personally do not think so.
Rest in peace to those who died, and rest in peace to those who died as a result.