posts 16 - 24 of 24
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 26

The person I interviewed was staying with a friend in Long Island when the events transpired. They had been planning their friend’s wedding and were blissfully unaware the morning of the attacks. The house didn’t have a television and they had spent the morning reading (and online news was not a thing). Only when they went out in the world and into a deli for food did they realize something was very wrong. Crowds of people were gathered watching the small television in the deli. The person and their friend went up to the man behind the counter and asked “what is going on?” Not knowing that they had completely no idea what was happening the man told them that the second tower had just collapsed. My interviewee remembers the moment, with a feeling of idiocy and confusion. They and their friend had absolutely no idea what was happening, and this ignorance came crashing down around them. Vivid memories of the weather being beautiful, and the skies clear, haunt a day like this for the person as well. When asked how life in the country or in the world changed after September 11th, 2001, the subject said, “like night and day.” They described to me the sudden realization that the U.S. was not invincible, and that they could be attacked at home just as much as anyone else. In the moment, it felt like the beginning of the end for many people around the country. Around the world, there was an outpouring of support, much of which came in the form of military assistance and airspace loaning. In the country, people became very angry, heavily patriotic, and began searching for a place to exact revenge. It was in this vulnerable state that Americans were convinced that going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do, even though there was no evidence in the least to connect the terror attacks to Saddam Hussain's regime. It also led to the loss of much privacy and personal rights in the name of security and protection. The last quote the interviewee mentioned was how shocking it was to the entire world that “The biggest world superpower was brought to its knees by just 19 men, shocked the soul of the world.” This provides a powerful image of just how much of a singular event 9/11 was in American history, and how this one morning affected American policy for two decades to come.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 26

Originally posted by hotchocolate on September 13, 2021 17:13

The person I interviewed was sitting in the living room preparing for a work day, 35 years old at the time. It was a beautiful day with clear skies and crisp air. They received a call from an acquaintance telling them to turn on the television and look at the news. They saw the first and then second plane hit, stunned and horrified, yet watching it on a small TV reminded them of a really bad Hollywood film. They thought that maybe these terrorists watched a bad movie and were inspired. Later, they found out that a close friend was almost on one of the planes and that many people from Boston were killed as passengers. That made the event hit closer to home. The world was changed forever and it wasn’t as safe as they thought. They felt deeply saddened that they were about to be a parent and had to bring a child into the world with all its violence. A few years later, their coworker revealed that their mother was a victim of the attack and died in the tower. After 9/11 the Patriot Act was passed which allowed the US government to spy on their own citizens in fear of another domestic attack. It allowed people to be locked up without due process if accused of being a terrorist. Higher security measures are now being taken and more taxpayer dollars are spent on security as opposed to education. There is still the fear of dirty bombs. Lots of places around the world have terrorist attacks which we had been avoiding. They sadly realized that terrorist attacks are possible here. Maybe people are addicted to terrorism like the school shootings: there’s this ongoing fascination with terror or it could just be human nature. Their hope is damaged but not completely destroyed. Recounting the event has them feeling frustrated, scared, and angry, but still a glimmer of hope survives. Some controversial things happening in the aftermath is that the government keeps spending billions of dollars on the military for a sense of national security instead of educational needs, etc. Also the government said it was safe to clean up from the wreckage of the attack too soon so that many people got cancer and illnesses without any support from the government for their recovery.

Wow, it's powerful how you mentioned the weight of bringing up a child in a more dangerous world than before the attacks. I didn't consider this being a factor after 9/11, but it must've weighed heavily on the minds of people thinkining of having children.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

20 Years After September 11th

I interviewed my mom for this project, and on 9/11 she was actually in NYC waiting to pick my grandpa up from his heart surgery. She remembers large groups of people coming out of starbucks. The amount of people being transported to the hospitals delayed my grandpa's open heart surgery, but no one else related to my family was directly affected by the attack. My mother grew up outside of New York City and she said after the attack America as a whole got really protected and sheltered. After September 11th they implemented a better airport security system. No, my mom does not see a future relationship going on between these two countries about September eleventh.
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 18

20 Years Since 9/11

  • She was at home, with her 11 month old daughter
  • She remembers being in the living room seeing the news. She remembers not feeling safe in her own home.
  • She wasn’t directly affected by what occurred that day, but she felt scared for her child and the world that they would have to live in.
  • She lived in Lawrence, MA and so did the rest of her family at the time so she didn’t know anyone affected by the attack that day.
  • She felt that she had to protect her baby from everything in advance. Her coping mechanism was to just protect and coddle her future children.
  • She has somewhat stopped coddling her children but she still harbors fear that something could happen just like what happened on that day.
  • She isn’t someone that pays attention to politics very much. But as someone who was able to understand what happened that day, she has been able to witness the country change over the past 20 years.
  • She does have the fear that something like this could happen again because she feels that the country becomes very lax and that can cause something to occur once again.
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 27

Originally posted by purplepumpkinpie on September 13, 2021 20:34

1) He was in 5th grade at school.

2) He was in school and didn't know what had happened until after school, but he doesn't remember too much because he was pretty young.

3) He was not directly affected. He was however, scared of planes for a while..

I find it really upsetting that this person had to experience this tragedy at such a young age. It makes me think very differently because I wonder how confused I would be feeling if I were a young child at this point in time. I can understand why this person was scared of planes, however this makes me feel so upset for them because even as a young person they are able to understand and fear terrorist attacks.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 14

Originally posted by loveholic on September 13, 2021 22:29

1. She was working at the Boston Globe when 9/11 happened.

2. She remembers seeing everything unfold on live TV, as there were big screens in the room where she was working and everyone was gathered around watching the news. She also remembers being very nervous to take the train home after work that day and spent the rest of the week constantly fearing that something else would happen wherever she went.

3. She wasn't directly affected, but she had worked in a big office building before so she felt some type of sympathy in terms of that.

4. She didn't know anyone who was working at the World Trade Center or anyone who would have been directly involved.

5. She says that people have become more on edge and security has gotten a lot tighter in many places to prevent stuff like this from happening again.

6. Things are more different now compared to the fresh aftermath, and obviously technology has advanced and there are new measures in place to prevent future terrorist attacks.

7. To her, America coming together in times of crisis and danger has stayed the same, and it is unfortunate that it takes something so negative to bring the country together as one. But the way we have carried on and advanced as a society has changed a lot.

8. Partially. She says that she was able to connect the current Afghanistan situation to what happened on 9/11 but not in a detailed way.

Your response to question 8 popped for me because of something I watched on Saturday remembering 9/11. A news caster stated that 20 years ago we were victims of a terrorist attack. Now 20 years later all of our troops in Afghanistan are pulled out. I think this sense of fear has stayed consistent for many Americans. Today we still live in a very divided America.

Posts: 15

20 year after 9/11

My aunt was in Cambridge at the JFK School of Government on her 2nd day of graduate school. They were all in the forum, watching the events as they unfolded. They were all shaken by the events and she called to check in with family and friends, specifically her father who was working in Washington, D.C. at the time. She knew lots of people affected by the events because the planes came from Boston and many people were worried. After 9/11, the U.S. became a lot tighter on security in planes and government buildings. There was also a growth in anti-immigrant behavior and sentiment, especially towards Middle Easterns and Muslims. On September 12, there was still a lot of unknown and confusion as well as sadness. Planes had to land wherever they were and no one knew so many people would die, but many helped those in need, however this support did not last to modern day. This country is now a lot more hypersensitive about security and a lot more divided not a lot is the same (no one thought before people would attack our country unprovoked). The events of 9/11 opened a more rabid fisher between the political parties and, even if it temporarily brought the country together, there is now a great divide and suspicions between many people in our country with different beliefs and backgrounds.

boston , Massachusetts, US
Posts: 19

20 years after 9/11

My grandfather was sick in the hospital with cancer on the day of 9/11 and he was watching the american news in England on the TV in his hospital room and he saw it,a and asked my aunt to "change the movie" because he didn't want to see it and my aunt just remembers her saying to him "dad it's not a movie this is the news, it is happening right now in NY" and he just was absolutely in shock. He said "I don't want to live on this planet anymore it is too cruel" and then 3 days later he died. He didn't know anyone personally that was affected and my aunt says neither does she, as they lived/live in the UK but it still had a tremendous affect on them, he went to visit my mom in the US a few month before that and he went and saw all of NYC including the twin towers, so it was shocking how it happened. My aunt says she had the exact same reaction, absolutely mortified, I am sure everyone was.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20

He slept in, tired from beers of the night before. He awoke to the doorbell, the water jugs were here. The delivery man, "Hey, I don't know if you heard, two planes hit the world trade center." He didn't. With no radio or cable TV, he set off to his brother's electronically equipped house. Using the spare key for entry (his brother and his brother's wife were stuck in Nantucket, the planes weren't running). The silence of the sky and the silence of the street contributed to the surreal feeling of the day. The noise reserved for the news and checking in on loved ones by phone calls. The next day, he wept. He felt the lives lost, though the victims unknown to him, created a shift in understanding and faith. His words; "a shift in consciousness and humanity's loss". Yet, he celebrates the unity and the compassion within the United States following the incident. He determines the unity has left the United States, as political divides are more polarized now.

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