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freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 246

Readings and watchings:

This video is a composite of all the key news footage that was produced between 8:30 am and noon on September 11, 2011. It’s a bit long but well worth watching.



Assignment:

What to do in class around the anniversary of September 11th is always a challenge but no more so than now when we are a class in which you were born—most likely—sometime between 2003 and 2005, correct? Your memory of this has to be from later, perhaps from things you heard or saw from family, friends, the media, or in school. Perhaps some of you and your families were directly affected: you lost family members or friends or had extended family/friends affected by what happened that day.


We will spend Monday, September 12th in class reflecting on the significance of 9/11, especially given that it is the 20th anniversary of the event and that the United States has just pulled its troop presence out of Afghanistan. And then we’ll dig a bit deeper.


Part I:

Read or watch the above linked materials. They will at least ensure that we are somewhat on the same page with basic info re September 11, 2001. To be certain, we have witnessed umpteen terrorist or terrorist-linked attacks since, including the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. But still, September 11 really launched the 21st century in terms of the growth of terrorist attacks on major targets, like the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, etc. What’s happened in the intervening years in Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Istanbul, etc. remind us of the attacks that occurred in this country.


Part II:

After you watch the video and read the story of Jack Grandcolas, who tragically lost his wife and unborn child on 9/11, I’d like you to interview someone very informally. Insofar as you were quite young on 9/11, I ask you to interview an adult who has a clear memory of September 11th—maybe a parent or maybe another adult. Ask them these (among other questions of your invention!):


  • Where were they on 9/11?
  • What do they remember about the day overall as well as the big events of the day?
  • Were they directly affected in some way by what happened?
  • Did they know anyone who was?
  • And ask them as well: how did life/this country/the world change after 9/11?
  • If it was different on September 12, is it still different now?
  • What’s changed? What’s stayed the same?
  • And do they see any relationship between the ongoing political debate in this country and what happened on September 11th?

Note: Take general notes on what your interviewee has to say. We don’t need a transcript. We will all be eager to hear what you discover!


Without disclosing the name of the person you interviewed, briefly share/summarize their story with us. For instructions on how to post, see this doc (but the version in Google classroom)


SunflowerSpruce
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by freemanjud on September 11, 2021 14:05

Readings and watchings:

This video is a composite of all the key news footage that was produced between 8:30 am and noon on September 11, 2011. It’s a bit long but well worth watching.



Assignment:

What to do in class around the anniversary of September 11th is always a challenge but no more so than now when we are a class in which you were born—most likely—sometime between 2003 and 2005, correct? Your memory of this has to be from later, perhaps from things you heard or saw from family, friends, the media, or in school. Perhaps some of you and your families were directly affected: you lost family members or friends or had extended family/friends affected by what happened that day.


We will spend Monday, September 12th in class reflecting on the significance of 9/11, especially given that it is the 20th anniversary of the event and that the United States has just pulled its troop presence out of Afghanistan. And then we’ll dig a bit deeper.


Part I:

Read or watch the above linked materials. They will at least ensure that we are somewhat on the same page with basic info re September 11, 2001. To be certain, we have witnessed umpteen terrorist or terrorist-linked attacks since, including the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. But still, September 11 really launched the 21st century in terms of the growth of terrorist attacks on major targets, like the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, etc. What’s happened in the intervening years in Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Istanbul, etc. remind us of the attacks that occurred in this country.


Part II:

After you watch the video and read the story of Jack Grandcolas, who tragically lost his wife and unborn child on 9/11, I’d like you to interview someone very informally. Insofar as you were quite young on 9/11, I ask you to interview an adult who has a clear memory of September 11th—maybe a parent or maybe another adult. Ask them these (among other questions of your invention!):


  • Where were they on 9/11?
  • What do they remember about the day overall as well as the big events of the day?
  • Were they directly affected in some way by what happened?
  • Did they know anyone who was?
  • And ask them as well: how did life/this country/the world change after 9/11?
  • If it was different on September 12, is it still different now?
  • What’s changed? What’s stayed the same?
  • And do they see any relationship between the ongoing political debate in this country and what happened on September 11th?

Note: Take general notes on what your interviewee has to say. We don’t need a transcript. We will all be eager to hear what you discover!


Without disclosing the name of the person you interviewed, briefly share/summarize their story with us. For instructions on how to post, see this doc (but the version in Google classroom)


It was a picture perfect fall day, until she heard on the radio that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. At first, she thought it was an accident and continued going about her day, but when a second plane crashed, one thing kept repeating in her brain: ¨we are under attack.¨ Air travel was suspended for days - and even after it resumed, no one wanted to be on a plane. New security measures were being taken. Millions were now paranoid and afraid for their safety. Muslims were now being faced with racism on a much more extreme level. America went to war and while there was a newfound sense of American pride, many had to make sacrifices for the country. It became a time where fear and terror were the new normal.

dollarcoffee
Boston, MA
Posts: 10

My mom was at home the day of September 11th 2001. She had the TV on in the background and watched as the planes hit the towers. She didn't know what to do with herself, so she got on the T and went to her first week of grad school. She got there, and people were pouring out of buildings, and a friend told her that class was cancelled. She got on the bus, where they had opened all the doors and the police were telling people to get on and forget about paying, just get home. She remembered the quiet days after, when the only air traffic was fighter jets overhead. My extended family was very worried that day, as her brother, my uncle had been in the Towers for a meeting the day of the bombing in the parking garage and they were worried he was there again. She wasn't directly affected, though one of her friends lost a brother. Another thing she talked about was how there was a feeling of violation and worry in Boston because the planes took off from Logan and how this stuff had happened in their city and come from their city. One thing she says that changed that day was the breaking news crawl on the news channels. It was the start of the 24 hours news cycle, and the feeling that there was something in the world we had to be aware of and worrying about constantly. She said the start of the news crawl signified the rise of right wing fear in America or the constant feeling that America was under attack and that there was a threat that needed to be addressed and constant American fear.

no-one
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10
My interviewee was at home when she found out about 9/11, and remembers getting phone calls and then being glued to the TV and seeing the 2nd plane crash live. While not knowing anyone directly who was affected, she had friends in New York that she was very worried for. She noticed that the nation become more united in a way, but also that for people that were or seemed Muslim or even vaguely “foreign” at all, there were enormous amounts of hate. While during the 90s multiculturalism had widely been embraced as the norm, after the attacks it became more acceptable to be a hateful, racist person. She sees Trump’s rise to office and political power partially as an outcome of this change, as open white supremacists and bigots were empowered to be vocal about their beliefs, which led to the culture that brought his election. Also, politically, she noticed that W. Bush, who was previously unpopular due to his shady win over Gore in the 2000 election, became a leader and his approval went extremely high. According to her, people were out for revenge and he was the standard-bearer of that movement. While some of the immense anger and hate at that time have died down, she still believes that the cultural changes in the perception of the United States as the “best in the world” and an untouchable monolith remain to today.
poptarts
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 8
The sky was clear and the weather almost perfect as he was driving to Maine, but the news of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center had thrown him off guard. He had panicked a bit, but after living in the middle of a war zone for many years of his adolescence he had managed to push away the bad feeling. The news of the attacks had spread like wildfire and eventually reached his employers, causing the company to lay off him and all other Middle Easterners who had any sort of access to sensitive information. From the historic date to today, he feels as though not many things have changed. People still grieve, security is still hectic, and immigration is still heavily influenced by the incident. But New York and other places had managed to make their way 'back to normal,' as normal as things could get. He feels like New York went back to being the busy city it was, and will always be. Even after the attacks.
Blue terrier
Posts: 10

On the morning of September 11, 2001, my interviewee was working in the speech writing department of the Mayor's Office, the mayor at that time being Thomas M. Menino. She can't remember exactly how the news came to her, but she explained that a reporter must have called, as the press office was right next her office. There were 3 televisions in the office, and everyone was just gathered around them watching quietly, and intermittently. They all thought it was an accident at first. Not too long after the first plane, they watched the second plane hit the second tower live on television. It was at that point that they realized this was not an accident. It all unfolded over several hours, people were trying to work but they couldn't because it was such mayhem. The phones in the press office were ringing off the hook. Then they realized the planes had left from Boston. She explained how the gravity of the situation became clearer, and everything became more hectic. She remembers the mayor having to respond publicly to the tragedy, and the speech writing director for the mayor was typing furiously, trying to make a suitable statement for the Mayor with the limited she had. She went on to explain coming home from work that day, how Downtown Boston was a "ghost town." A shared memory that she mentioned is how beautiful the weather was. She said it was like the day should have felt normal, but it was everything but. She also noted how silent the world was with no planes overhead. She did feel affected by 9/11 personally. As most people did, she had a lost sense of security, and she was incredibly anxious in the weeks and months following. With a baby at home, she was wondering what kind of a world she would be raising him in. Someone that 9/11 affected personally was her brother-in-law who is an iron worker in Boston. He drove from Boston to the site of 9/11 only two days later to cut through the steel and look for victims and bodies. She said that life in this country did change. One of the biggest things that stuck out to her was the rise in security. Some freedoms were taken away, compromised through things like The Patriot Act. This divided people in a way, as people responded to the security in different ways. The Patriot Act was what really began to divide people. Books someone took out of the library, phone calls, and websites someones visited, all had the ability to be heavily monitored which many people disagreed with. Something else that changed, she stated, was the scapegoating began. There was a dramatic rise in Islamophobia. She also mentioned that that is something that has stayed the same, unfortunately, since 9/11. There is a always a rush to blame and hate a certain group, to turn the pain and suffering into hatred towards a targeted group of people. Another person chimed into the conversation, remembering how Muslims wanted to build a Mosque in Manhattan, and people went "crazy." A similar trend happened with Virginia Buckingham, the director of Massachusetts Port Authority at the time, and Jane Swift, governor of Massachusetts at the time. She wonders if the same backlash would have occurred if these women in positions of power were men. On a more hopeful note, she mentioned that the time right after September 11 was a time of unity, people united as human beings, all having lived through this collective trauma.

Blue terrier
Posts: 10

Originally posted by dollarcoffee on September 13, 2021 18:53

My mom was at home the day of September 11th 2001. She had the TV on in the background and watched as the planes hit the towers. She didn't know what to do with herself, so she got on the T and went to her first week of grad school. She got there, and people were pouring out of buildings, and a friend told her that class was cancelled. She got on the bus, where they had opened all the doors and the police were telling people to get on and forget about paying, just get home. She remembered the quiet days after, when the only air traffic was fighter jets overhead. My extended family was very worried that day, as her brother, my uncle had been in the Towers for a meeting the day of the bombing in the parking garage and they were worried he was there again. She wasn't directly affected, though one of her friends lost a brother. Another thing she talked about was how there was a feeling of violation and worry in Boston because the planes took off from Logan and how this stuff had happened in their city and come from their city. One thing she says that changed that day was the breaking news crawl on the news channels. It was the start of the 24 hours news cycle, and the feeling that there was something in the world we had to be aware of and worrying about constantly. She said the start of the news crawl signified the rise of right wing fear in America or the constant feeling that America was under attack and that there was a threat that needed to be addressed and constant American fear.

My interviewee also noted how quiet it was with no planes flying overhead. It's interesting the details many people seem to remember.

Yiddeon
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 5

My interviewee was working as a physical therapist in a school at the time of the attacks. She was then at Mamaroneck High school,which is about thirty five minutes outside the city by train or car. She was on break with the rest of the teachers without classes watching the planes hit. Parents started to come to the school to pick up there kids and there was general confusion. She was asked to go to an Elementary school nearby and talk with the kids there about what had just happened. She then went to the pre school where there was a teacher that she was friends with. This teacher had a stepsonson that worked in the towers who had unfortunately died. She then went home in Larchmont, which is a town over.

September twelfth was eerie with held breath and eyes glued to the news trying to learn as much as she and everyone else could. There were also many people that were calling each other trying to learn that friends and family was safe. She said that she considered herself lucky for how detached she was from it personally. The closest person was the teacher to lose her stepson as I mentioned before.

She knows people that worked in the city that just ran home all the way from the city. There was so much shock and fear that they ran all the way home not stopping until they were out of the city and in Larchmont. In a weird way it brought the town together directly after the attacks. There was a group that formed that supported the families that had lost people.

She went in to the city with her Husband to try and help them move on. She thought that it was important to move past it and not live in fear. A few months after the attack she visited the wreckage. It was an incredibly powerful moment and she has since visited the monuments in the towers places.

After she went into the city and joined a march to fight going to war in Iraq. She said that the country was brought together but there was still disagreements about going to war. She described it as similar to the attack at the capitol on January sixth. The main difference being that in that situation it pulled the country apart and in this it brought it together.

goldshark567
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

The person I interviewed was at work teaching her high school classes on 9/11. She remembers being in complete disbelief for a while and then feeling an extreme sense of horror once coming to terms with the fact that the events were real. She remembers a student in her class crying with fear because her aunt was on a flight from Boston to New York that day. Although the student’s aunt was okay, she noted the way that fear completely took over.

Someone she went to college with was killed in the attacks. They were not close, but knowing someone who was affected in a way as extreme as that was definitely very difficult.

The immediate effect of 9/11 in the eyes of the person I interviewed was that people came together. She remembers how people made an effort to be kind. This was noticed in things as simple as people in cars not beeping at each other on the way to work. However, that initial unity was quickly followed by extremely scary Anti-Muslim sentiment. 20 years later, our country is still divided about what it means to be an American. Many people wrongfully believe that to be American means to be white.

After 9/11, my interviewee says we lost our sense of innocence as a country. Flying would never be the same. There was a realization that massive attacks like this could and would happen and extreme Anti-Muslim sentiment remains as a result of this day.

goldshark567
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by Blue terrier on September 13, 2021 20:54

On the morning of September 11, 2001, my interviewee was working in the speech writing department of the Mayor's Office, the mayor at that time being Thomas M. Menino. She can't remember exactly how the news came to her, but she explained that a reporter must have called, as the press office was right next her office. There were 3 televisions in the office, and everyone was just gathered around them watching quietly, and intermittently. They all thought it was an accident at first. Not too long after the first plane, they watched the second plane hit the second tower live on television. It was at that point that they realized this was not an accident. It all unfolded over several hours, people were trying to work but they couldn't because it was such mayhem. The phones in the press office were ringing off the hook. Then they realized the planes had left from Boston. She explained how the gravity of the situation became clearer, and everything became more hectic. She remembers the mayor having to respond publicly to the tragedy, and the speech writing director for the mayor was typing furiously, trying to make a suitable statement for the Mayor with the limited she had. She went on to explain coming home from work that day, how Downtown Boston was a "ghost town." A shared memory that she mentioned is how beautiful the weather was. She said it was like the day should have felt normal, but it was everything but. She also noted how silent the world was with no planes overhead. She did feel affected by 9/11 personally. As most people did, she had a lost sense of security, and she was incredibly anxious in the weeks and months following. With a baby at home, she was wondering what kind of a world she would be raising him in. Someone that 9/11 affected personally was her brother-in-law who is an iron worker in Boston. He drove from Boston to the site of 9/11 only two days later to cut through the steel and look for victims and bodies. She said that life in this country did change. One of the biggest things that stuck out to her was the rise in security. Some freedoms were taken away, compromised through things like The Patriot Act. This divided people in a way, as people responded to the security in different ways. The Patriot Act was what really began to divide people. Books someone took out of the library, phone calls, and websites someones visited, all had the ability to be heavily monitored which many people disagreed with. Something else that changed, she stated, was the scapegoating began. There was a dramatic rise in Islamophobia. She also mentioned that that is something that has stayed the same, unfortunately, since 9/11. There is a always a rush to blame and hate a certain group, to turn the pain and suffering into hatred towards a targeted group of people. Another person chimed into the conversation, remembering how Muslims wanted to build a Mosque in Manhattan, and people went "crazy." A similar trend happened with Virginia Buckingham, the director of Massachusetts Port Authority at the time, and Jane Swift, governor of Massachusetts at the time. She wonders if the same backlash would have occurred if these women in positions of power were men. On a more hopeful note, she mentioned that the time right after September 11 was a time of unity, people united as human beings, all having lived through this collective trauma.

Similar to my interviewee and many others, it is clear that there was an observed unity across the country in the time directly following 9/11, which was then followed by a rise in Islamaphobia/Anti-Muslim Sentiment.

caramel washington
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 5

9/11 Account

The person I interviewed was at their office in downtown Boston at the time of the attacks. They had just gotten engaged the day before, and were super excited to share the news with friends and family. When they first heard about the news, they called their fiance, who was still hoping to go ring shopping later that day, because they simply were not aware of the seriousness of the event.


My interviewee notes that it didn’t feel like one event, it felt like a series of events, which made it all the more scary. First one plane crashed into the towers, then another plane crashed into the other tower, then one tower fell and then another tower fell and at that time no one understood why the towers had fallen and they assumed that there had been bombs in the bottoms of both towers which made the whole situation feel even more out of control. There were also a series of anthrax poisonings going on at the time which were all over the news, and since no one knew where they were coming from, it really felt like everything was kind of falling apart. My interviewee also remembers their brother actually slept through it, and he woke up after both towers had fallen, so his perception was a little different because he saw it as one event, not four.


In terms of the political situation at the time, my interviewee, like those interviewed by no-one and blue terrier, said that it seemed like the country briefly gained a sense of unity. They also remember feeling like the leaders at the time, George W. Bush and Rudy Guliani (who my interviewee describes as a f*cking nutter) were saying all the right things, about coming together, not fearing our Muslim neighbors, and blaming the people but not their culture. Even the invasion of Afghanistan felt like the right thing to do at that time to almost everyone. Somewhat naively, most Americans thought that we still had the power to change other countries for the better.


Unlike dollarcoffee and yiddeon, my interviewee had no direct connection to the victims of the event, but they did have a friend from college who lived in an apartment that looked out on the world trade centers, and if his schedule had been different that day he would have been walking through the area when the planes hit. It had an enormous impact on this friend just to be in that proximity, and it made him come to terms with his own mortality, and rethink his whole life. Shortly after, he quit his job and moved onto a boat.

poutineenthusiast
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

On the day of 9/11, my interviewee was at work in New York, on the upper floors of her building which was located on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn bridge. That day, she had arrived at work early. Every morning, she could see the World Trade Center right from her desk. On the day of 9/11, she remembers drinking coffee and talking to her supplier on the phone while facing the towers. Her supplier's building was only one block away from the Twin Towers. My interviewee saw the first plane hit. Her, like many others', first response was confusion, not knowing what or why this was happening. She was still on the phone when the second plane hit and told her supplier that she needed to evacuate immediately. My interviewee's first thought was to contact her mother to assure her that she was okay before evacuating her building. She remembers the fear that her and her coworkers felt, knowing that they had colleagues who worked on the top floors of the World Trade Center. She noted the confusion and fear amongst her coworkers, who many of which were crying. Her boss had told her and her coworkers to try to get home, but all of the roads to Manhattan, where she had lived, were shut down. Both her and her friend, who was also unable to return home, stayed together for the rest of the day. The debris falling almost "looked like snow", she said. My interviewee said that she had left work around 9 AM and had not returned home until 9 PM.


She remembers the unity amongst New Yorkers after 9/11 who seemed to be coming together to help each other out. She and her colleagues had returned to work the next day to show that they could come together as a community, despite the circumstances. She remembered that a few years after 9/11, New York experienced a massive blackout and New Yorkers feared the possibility of another terrorist attack. A sporting goods store had been giving out pairs of sneakers to New Yorkers so that they could walk home. My interviewee remembers this collective unity, but beieves that we are now more divided now than we were 20 years before. My interviewee believes that we as Americans are so divided by rigid lines. She felt that 20 years ago, many prioritized and voted on what was the good for America in whole, but now, people vote just because of the political party that they identify with.


On the topic of Afghanistan, my interviewee believed that although Biden could have handled the situation better, it was what needed to be done. In her opinion, it was a war that, no matter how long we stayed, we were never going to win. Someone needed to pull the trigger. My interviewee noted that Republicans were known for investing a lot of money into the military and that George Bush had received a lot of support for investing into fighting the Taliban. Before wrapping up the interview, my interviewee wondered if a Republican president had pulled troops out of Afghanistan, would they have received the same backlash that Biden had received? Would they have even done it?

stylishghost
Roslindale, MA, US
Posts: 10

9/11 to my interviewee

She was at work at a Dedham office park, which made her feel safer because of its small size. She remembers staying in her cubicle, when she received an email from a friend in New York, urging her to turn on CNN. They moved into the annex and watched on a small TV, however, the workers stayed at work, continuing on their lives because it was somehow so surreal. She remembers her spouse relaxing at his Boston apartment. A graduate of her college was present on the plane, with her kid and unborn child. She got engaged just two days after, and her husband-to-be felt like they deserved some good news after all. They later went to the airport, and faced the shock of new rules and regulations, especially the fact that you could no longer accompany someone to the gate. In conclusion, it was simply so unfathomable, almost dreamlike, for days and weeks and months on end. As a person not of Muslim descent, she hasn't yet looked back and realized the new wave of Islamaphobia, and even found herself in airports looking for people who "fit the profile". This is her generations of "where were you when JFK was shot".

Winters2
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 4

20 Years After 9/11

On 9/11 my interviewee was home taking a rare sick day and was watching the today show when the first report of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center reached the news, and then saw live the second plane strike the second tower at the World Trade Center. My interviewee vividly remembers the shock and confusion that ensued after the attacks. The panic of not knowing what was going on started to over come thousands of people. Later in the day my interviewee was on the phone with coworkers and the dean of the law school where he worked, he was describing through the phone the events that were going on to a conference room of those my interviewee worked with. My interviewee remembers that it was an election day in Boston and though feeling sick and distraught remembers going out and voting. He remembers the almost ripple effect that happened where everyone was affected in some way from this disaster, whether a family member, or friend of someone who died in the attack, or their loved ones were first responders that lost their lives trying to help those in the debris. It turned out my interviewee had a friend from college that was killed in the attack who was killed in the tower as it collapsed and had many friends of friends and friends who were injured or killed in the attacks. My interviewee had a friend who worked in a restaurant on the top floor of one of the buildings and she was an event coordinator so she had spent the previous night up late preparing and so was running late the morning of September 11 and did not get to the buildings in time for the attack and almost everyone she worked with died in the tower.

My interviewee said that the effect on the world was very noticeable, they say that the United States had most of the world on its side and there was a lot of sympathy for the United States after this attack. In the country there was a new sense of togetherness, he clearly remembers the scenes of crowds of people cheering for the first responders who were cleaning up the mess and there was a shared humanity. However a not so positive side was also brought about where those who were not only Muslim or middle eastern but those who looked like they could be were targeted and attacked. The main changes have been more complex travel restrictions and security procedures. In the opinion of my interviewee fear has also become more of a weapon, where before 9/11 there was not a fear of being attacked domestically. He also says that unfortunately the attitude of "we are all in this together" has gone away domestically and internationally.

SesameStreet444
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

On September 11, 2001, my interviewee was working at the bank in Brookline, Massachusetts. As news of an airplane crashing into the World Trade Center broke across the country, he was huddled up in the basement, surrounded by his coworkers, watching intently on an old and damaged television. While there was an undeniable sense of shock looming over the room, the brutal reality of what he'd just witnessed didn't kick in until he'd began to make his way home. Trains and buses were no longer running. The airport was completely shut down. Everything had just stopped in its tracks. Fear was in the air. Later in the day, as my interviewee and his pregnant wife arrived at their newly bought condo, together they continued to incessantly watch the disturbing news in distraught. While neither had personally known anyone in the towers, a new wave of fear had washed over them: What kind of place would their child would grow up in, and would that place be safe or not?

My interviewee was quick to note that America had most definitely changed after what had happened. He recalled that, for one minute at least, the entirety of the country was on the exact page, regardless of backgrounds or political beliefs. Those who normally would never interact with each other took solace in one another, and the constant bickering among rivaling political parties had, for one moment, ceased to matter. Security, perseverance, and unity had all been strengthened. But there was also a downside. America, along with the whole world, had realized that it was not untouchable. It could be hurt, and it could be brought down. And so another emotion began to rise within the nation, and would later fuel a nasty path of hatred and Islamophobia within the US: fear.

I asked my interviewee if things had changed since 9/11. His answer was simple and blunt: yes. The warm blanket of unity that was felt at the time of the attacks was nowhere to be found in the America that stands today. Social media, fake news, propaganda - the divide within this country is simply too overbearing. The room for compromise is now dangerously small. But there is a correlation between the two. The current hatred felt in this country, along with blind allegiance to undeserving political leaders, is a merely continuation of what had sprouted from the attacks. President Bush's decision to invade the Middle East blurred the lines between American pride and discrimination, sparked conspiracy theories that continue to prosper to this day, and enabled future political leaders to gain power through discriminatory beliefs and propaganda, the most notable one being Donald Trump. The aftermath of 9/11 is still intimately woven into our political issues, and given how much weight and pain it has caused for so many Americans, it probably will continue to be for a long time.'

To this day, my interviewee swears he will never forget that dreadful day. When the unthinkable becomes a reality, it can make you question the very principles in which you stand upon, it can even change your entire perspective on life. My interviewee will always look back on that day in horror, and will continue to mourn the innocent lives lost for as long as he lives.

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