posts 16 - 29 of 29
Bumble Bee
Posts: 13

Originally posted by gato927 on September 13, 2021 19:44

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 Tuesday and my mother went to work. It was a sunny September morning. Her boss had gone to Russia to adopt his son, so she was in the office with this man, named Keith. Their offices were next to each other, and around 9 a.m. he yelled, “Oh my god! A plane just hit the World Trade Center!” A couple months earlier my father had started working at his job in the Seaport. "My first thought was I need to call him. I called him and immediately asked if he was okay. He responded 'Umm, yeah. Why?' I told him that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center, and he was like 'What?'" A few minutes later they found out that the planes had hit the World Trade Center in New York City, not in Boston. They watched on television as the second plane hit the second tower. "It was awful. There were people running everywhere trying to get away. People jumping out of the buildings. It was awful.” She didn’t leave though. She sat watching the television as the towers fell. My grandmother was away in Colorado for work. Like the rest of America, she had heard exactly what happened, and was unable to board the plane because of airport restrictions. She had to drive back to Boston with her coworker, and never flew on a plane the same way again.

One thing that had changed after September 11 was airport security. Airports added new restrictions on travel, domestic and international. “Another thing I noticed that changed was the patriotism in the United States. No one cared who you were at that moment because you were an American.” Another thing that stood out to me in 2001 was that there were no planes flying. The sky was silent. Now in 2021 there are planes, but around that time it was silent. Since 2001, some things have changed like airports and patriotism in the country. But most things stayed the same. People still don’t agree on what should happen.” Around the time of 9/11, many people wanted to go to war, and if you didn’t want to go to war you were seen as un-American. Today in 2021, we can still see a divided country of people who don’t agree on what should be done for the good of the country.


My parents said similar things about the impacts of 9/11 including the security and the patriotism. I thought what your mom said about the sky being silent was very interesting. I hear planes overhead all the time so it really shows what an impact the event had.

groot
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 15

The Story of former Special Agent in Charge at FBI National Joint Terrorism Task Force

  1. She was at the Interpol's Headquarters in Washington D.C. when boom, news hit D.C. that New York had been hit, twice. Then a loud rupture ripped through her ears and she heard it. The third attack had hit the Pentagon. She was called down to the site as a first responder to help as many survivors as she could.
  2. She remembers the sky, she said she'd looked up earlier that day and remarks how beautiful the sky looked. Later, that beautiful sky was replaced by fuel. The next thing she knew agencies from all over Washington D.C. were called down to the burning building to help anyone who remained.
  3. She was definitely directly affected by 9/11. Following the days of the crash she was part of the search and rescue team formed to help anyone who remained in the building. She was called to be a part of a makeshift morgue designed to identify bodies uncovered in the building. Even though that day she had to sort through tons of people, these two stood out. She remembers discovering a business card on a body that looked familiar;it was the solicitor general's wife. She also remembers a little boy in a bright orange sweater; it was his first ever flight. She slept at the crash site for around 30 days and during that time she helped out wherever she could. At one point she had been put in charge of listening to the plane’s blackbox, later she was given the box cutter which the hijackers used to threaten passengers. Years after the attacks she transferred over to the Pentagon where she obtained the title Special Agent in Charge at FBI National Joint Terroism Task Force because she had been so moved by the people who worked there.
  4. Yes, she did know people who were directly affected. Later names were released of those who had died in New York, her heart dropped as she saw a familiar one. The name of a classmate from high school was on the list. His name was Mark; he was from Roslindale.
  5. She recalls that after 9/11 the world came together, like she had never seen before. At a traffic stop everyone kept letting people go before them, not wanting to be greedy in such a horrific time. People were so kind to each other she says. Patriotism was overflowing in the streets, helping everyone change for the better.
  6. It's not the same as it used to be. On 9/11 and the days following everyone was forced to come together and help each other whether they knew that person or not. A sense of community was built everywhere you looked. Now she says things are different, everyone’s always fighting and when bad things happen there's no sense of togetherness like there was on the days following 9/11.
  7. How it Changed: People have forgotten. After a while people went on with their lives trying to erase the painful memories of the past. She believes that even though people continuously say “never forget” that too many people already have.

How it Stayed the Same: The people who worked in New York and at the Pentagon on 9/11 formed such an incredibly unbreakable bond that day. She says it was one of the most powerful experiences of her life and anyone who worked alongside her will forever be connected to her.

  1. She's not sure. She believes that for a period of time after the attacks people had such a strong sense of nationalism that it didn't matter what political party someone was in because everyone was coming together to help. But all that's changed now, the divide between political parties is incredibly big and that sense of community has all but been lost.


flowerpower
Posts: 12

My Fathers 9/11

My father remembers the morning of September 11 2001 to have been a beautiful sunny day in Boston. He started out his morning in an apartment in Allston living with my mother who was pregnant at the time. He was driving down the pike to his job in Waltham when he heard on the radio that a small plane had flown into one of the world trade center towers. When he got to the small office of only about 3 people they discussed the events of the morning and by then everyone online was talking about it. When the second plane hit he remembers the shock that came with it, knowing something big was going on. They did not get any work done that day.

My father is from London and lived in France for different portions of his life. He remembers explaining to his colleagues the slightly more common occurrence of terrorist attacks in Europe while he had been there. My father was not so surprised that someone would want to attack America but an attack of this scale was certainly still a shock.

My father was not directly affected by the events of 9/11 but a few years later he started working for a new company whose headquarters were in Jersey City. His new colleagues came with many different stories of their september 11, 2001. At times he had to visit these Jersey City headquarters, and to get there he would take a train up from Boston and get off at the station under where the World Trade Center had been. When he would get off at this stop to connect onto his next train for years he could see the construction and most memorably, the massive hole where the towers had been. Through temporary walls he saw the destruction and mess left behind for years after that fatal day.

Because my father was not directly affected in any way his personal life at the time did not change because of 9/11 but because his first child (my older brother) was born 2 months later. However he describes the country having changed in multiple ways. Firstly was the upgrade to airport security, it became more like what he was used to in europe. Second was he noticed a militarization of the police and an “increase in nationalistic rehtoric culminating in grossly unneccessary if not criminal military action abroad”. He also sees that the events of 9/11 could be looked at as a catalyst for the increase in nationalism and more extreme political rhetoric.

While the day was shocking for all and clearly memorable for many, my father was not deeply affected by it. Nobody he knew personally passed away, and his lack of citizenship to America disconnected him from the events

eac
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

It was a beautiful day

My mother's first memory on that day was my father calling her. He simply said "Turn on the news, a plane crashed into the World Trade Center". She did, and she remembers the confusion on every single broadcast. What size the plane was, whether or not the crash was accidental. All that confusion disappeared when the second plane hit. She remembers just staring at the news for hours until she just had to step away. Rumors began to circulate that the Hancock Tower that she lived just down the street from would be a target, so she decided that she would try and distract herself with work, she went to a building that she was working on, as an architect, and buried herself in diagrams and measurements. She remembers the fact that she and my dad were out backpacking a week earlier, and how disorientating it would be if this had happened while she was in the middle of nowhere.

My mom grew up in northern New Jersey, so several people she knew that went to high school with her went to work in lower Manhattan, so they were all witness to the attack. One of her closer friends worked at the North Tower, but she was caught up in reading Harry Potter and was 10 minutes later than she had anticipated. She arrived in front of the Tower seconds after the first plane hit.

Her father was visiting relatives in the days prior in North Carolina, and had a flight scheduled for that day, but it was in the afternoon, so all of the planes were already grounded. He instead took a rental car back up to New Jersey and never returned it.

One last person she new that was affected by 9/11. Her elementary school friend's mother, one of the leaders of her girl scout troop, she and her husband were scheduled for a flight that morning. They got on a plane, and took off. They never landed. They crashed in the middle of a field in the middle of Pennsylvania, aboard Flight 93.

My mother believes that 9/11 was somewhat inevitable, the signs were there, not of an attack of this magnitude, but that terrorism was becoming a serious threat in the United States. That relations between us and the Middle East had been complicated and hostile, that it would've taken a monumental effort to take the United States off this path. She did state, however, that after 9/11, where was no mindless bickering about details, like, for example, the asbestos insulation inside the towers. This was not insignificant, but after all, that was the least of their worries. There's no view of the larger picture nowadays in politics. Back then, they new they had to make a decision, and a decision was made. Was it the right decision? That's up for debate. But it was a decision, made with a unified will. Nowadays the details is all that will be mentioned as each party bickers over the last scraps of power they can hold. They cannot see the full picture, and they cannot work on a unified will. COVID was the death of this hopeful thinking. It's not a tragedy that brings people together. It's a scapegoat, a target, an enemy.

groot
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by gato927 on September 13, 2021 19:44

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 Tuesday and my mother went to work. It was a sunny September morning. Her boss had gone to Russia to adopt his son, so she was in the office with this man, named Keith. Their offices were next to each other, and around 9 a.m. he yelled, “Oh my god! A plane just hit the World Trade Center!” A couple months earlier my father had started working at his job in the Seaport. "My first thought was I need to call him. I called him and immediately asked if he was okay. He responded 'Umm, yeah. Why?' I told him that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center, and he was like 'What?'" A few minutes later they found out that the planes had hit the World Trade Center in New York City, not in Boston. They watched on television as the second plane hit the second tower. "It was awful. There were people running everywhere trying to get away. People jumping out of the buildings. It was awful.” She didn’t leave though. She sat watching the television as the towers fell. My grandmother was away in Colorado for work. Like the rest of America, she had heard exactly what happened, and was unable to board the plane because of airport restrictions. She had to drive back to Boston with her coworker, and never flew on a plane the same way again.

One thing that had changed after September 11 was airport security. Airports added new restrictions on travel, domestic and international. “Another thing I noticed that changed was the patriotism in the United States. No one cared who you were at that moment because you were an American.” Another thing that stood out to me in 2001 was that there were no planes flying. The sky was silent. Now in 2021 there are planes, but around that time it was silent. Since 2001, some things have changed like airports and patriotism in the country. But most things stayed the same. People still don’t agree on what should happen.” Around the time of 9/11, many people wanted to go to war, and if you didn’t want to go to war you were seen as un-American. Today in 2021, we can still see a divided country of people who don’t agree on what should be done for the good of the country.


When I spoke with my aunt about the days preceding the attacks the same topic of patriotism arose. My aunt told me that even at stop signs everyone was letting people go in front of them, trying their best to be kind is such a stressful situation. I guess everyone had a collective sense of unity because such a terrible thing had happened to them all. Whether or not a person they knew was on one of those planes, people came together because it was a time of crisis for everyone.

TheHistorian9
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 2

My Mother's Experience with 9/11

My mother came into her classroom as if it were just another day on September 11, 2001. However, what she didn’t know was that an event was going to change her whole world for good. She was in her classroom teaching her kindergarten students about writing and the alphabet. She remembered someone telling her the news, but she couldn’t believe it until she saw it on the highlights from the news. When she eventually had lunch, someone brought in a T.V. into the teacher’s lunchroom. My mother watched in disbelief as she saw the newsreels of the two planes crashing into the towers. She still couldn’t believe how some terrorist group could do such a horrible thing. As other teachers also watched the newsreels, one of the teachers started to become upset because her husband was supposed to be heading on one of the flights from Boston that got hijacked and she wasn’t able to reach him by phone. She was worried that he might be dead or something. My mother said, “We later found out that he was okay because there was some problem and he missed his flight.” However, that fear that my mother’s teacher friend felt was the same fear that many Americans felt on that day because of their loved ones or friends on that day.


Although my mother wasn’t directly affected by 9/11, she was affected by the aftermath and eventual changes that ensued after 9/11. She remembers having Muslim families with students in her classroom and she was worried that they would be subjected to the negative sentiments that had arisen out of this attack. She, as the compassionate woman and teacher that she is, offered to assist and be an ally to those Muslim families.


One thing my mother noticed was that the whole country came together after the event (no matter their race, political beliefs or ethnicities) and helped comfort each other. Even though the event was a nightmare, the country was united and ended conflicts for a short period. My mother also observed that many Americans, after the event, felt that the U.S. wasn’t as invincible as it seemed. My mother said, “Now we know that we can be attacked at any moment.” She saw another change in the U.S., the implementation of better security and the TSA. This is especially noticeable in our family because we travel a lot. TSA, even though it is an amazing thing to have, slows down the whole airport whenever we travel. My mother recalls that “before 9/11, getting to your gate was so much easier in terms of time.”


My mother was horrified and deeply saddened by the events that unfolded. She especially was concerned about the children who were around the World Trade Center and in the airplanes. As she watched the newsreels with her fellow teachers all she was thinking about were the innocent children that had to witness the events. Her teacher instincts kicked in when she saw images and photos of children.

freud
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

My Parents' Reaction to 9/11

Before I existed, and before even the middle brother in my family existed, there was a day when my parents were in the kitchen with my oldest brother. He was one or two at the time and my mom was getting ready to go to a friend's house for a playdate. My father was getting ready for work when my mom got a call from the friend's house she was about to go to. They only told her to turn on the TV.

When my father first saw the photo, he told me that he thought it was the Prudential. For a moment, he believed that this incident had happened right here at home. My mom reiterated that there was a passing thought that this could have easily happened in Boston. There was this perpetual sense of worry that overcame them because no one was sure if it was really over. Things just kept happening and my parents wondered if all of the information was even being given.

My mom asked her friend if she should still come over, and they said yes. My dad took the day off from work, as no one could really do anything that day. At this other family's house everyone was so upset. The dad was screaming and swearing because he was so upset. The family had a sister-in-law that worked in one of the buildings, and they were unable to get ahold of her. They were eventually able to get in touch.

My mom's aunt, my great aunt, lives to this day in Southern Manhattan, so my mom had been pretty worried about her, but got ahold of her in the morning. She said in New York City, after the incident, everyone got really nice. There was this collective sense of gratefulness to be alive, and everyone just wanted to help each other.

After the attack, my parents explained that "the flavor of racism changed." Immigration became more difficult, flying was much more difficult and there was this potential for chaos. No one really knew what could be possible, or what the population would be capable of. There was an increase in nationalism for sure. My dad said that before you would rarely see guys in their pickups driving around with American flags, but now they did it all the time as a sort of screw you to everyone who isn't American.

The resounding thing that my father said was that this changed our trust in the government, and it became clear how they will always be more military oriented than public health focused.

Boat1924
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 14

20 Years After 9/11 Discussion

On 9/11 My mother was in her classroom for the first day of kindergarden. She was passing out breakfast when the school nurse came in and said something horrible has happened in New York City. One fellow teacher got a t.v and plugged it in and told the entire school what happened. She remembers it was extremely scary, eerie quiet, and she was all-around nervous about the attack or what was going to happen next. After the planes hit the school went into complete lockdown. The morning kids were released to home, while some afternoon kids were sent in by their parents even though the school strongly urged them to keep them. During the day my mother and her family couldn't locate her cousin, who lived right in lower Manhatten, for hours. It wasn't until late at night until she was able to make out of New York and into Connecticut that she was able to call and tell everyone that she was ok. In addition, a close friend of her's significant other passed away after he was deployed with thousands of other firefighters and was cut when the second tower came crashing down. After 9/11, people became very skeptical of one another and racial discrimination rose against anyone that looked middle eastern. One of her close friends, who escaped the Iranian revolution during the 1970s, was told many times to go back to where he belonged. On September 12 it was extremely eerie as people were scared to leave their houses and go to work in case of another attack. The attack completely changed America. Before the attacks, it was never on American soil. Now after the attacks thousands of more brutal senseless attacks have been carried out across American cities. For example, Boston Bombing and horrific school shootings that go unanswered and unchanged. Even though some of our personal freedoms have changed and the government has become a lot more secretive and less open, we still have our personal rights. She believes that since 9/11 the country has been horrible divided and lazy. No one can make any decision and everyone passes the buck blaming each other for when a bill fails rather coming together and figuring out ways to make this country better. Since the attack, it seems that this country's leaders are more interested in serving themselves rather than the people they represent, using terror attacks like 9/11 to increase the popularity and control the masses.

gato927
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 14

Originally posted by freud on September 13, 2021 23:31

Before I existed, and before even the middle brother in my family existed, there was a day when my parents were in the kitchen with my oldest brother. He was one or two at the time and my mom was getting ready to go to a friend's house for a playdate. My father was getting ready for work when my mom got a call from the friend's house she was about to go to. They only told her to turn on the TV.

When my father first saw the photo, he told me that he thought it was the Prudential. For a moment, he believed that this incident had happened right here at home. My mom reiterated that there was a passing thought that this could have easily happened in Boston. There was this perpetual sense of worry that overcame them because no one was sure if it was really over. Things just kept happening and my parents wondered if all of the information was even being given.

My mom asked her friend if she should still come over, and they said yes. My dad took the day off from work, as no one could really do anything that day. At this other family's house everyone was so upset. The dad was screaming and swearing because he was so upset. The family had a sister-in-law that worked in one of the buildings, and they were unable to get ahold of her. They were eventually able to get in touch.

My mom's aunt, my great aunt, lives to this day in Southern Manhattan, so my mom had been pretty worried about her, but got ahold of her in the morning. She said in New York City, after the incident, everyone got really nice. There was this collective sense of gratefulness to be alive, and everyone just wanted to help each other.

After the attack, my parents explained that "the flavor of racism changed." Immigration became more difficult, flying was much more difficult and there was this potential for chaos. No one really knew what could be possible, or what the population would be capable of. There was an increase in nationalism for sure. My dad said that before you would rarely see guys in their pickups driving around with American flags, but now they did it all the time as a sort of screw you to everyone who isn't American.

The resounding thing that my father said was that this changed our trust in the government, and it became clear how they will always be more military oriented than public health focused.

My mother also had a similar experience where she believed the attacks had happened in Boston. I think it's interesting that some people had the exact same thoughts as the moment happened. She also said she saw a change in traveling and immigration.

freud
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

Originally posted by mango04 on September 12, 2021 17:39

As my father woke up one morning to teach a leadership and training course for the city of Boston, he had already had a terrible morning. Just after he had woken up, showered, changed, and brushed his teeth, his first wife approached him and told her that she wanted to get a divorce. With his head and judgement now clouded and overwhelmed, he made his way to his meeting located at the James Michael Curley House in Jamaica Plain. In the middle of his meeting he received a call from the Boston mayor’s office informing him that a plane had just hit one of the towers in the World Trade Center. While still trying to process this information, he heard a frantic voice on the other line yell that a second plane had now just hit the second tower. My father then came to a conclusion that this was an attack, and not an accident. He then realized that he was the only one at this meeting that knew of these attacks, and he would have to be the one to tell all of these 50 people from the Boston Redevelopment Authority. He went back into the meeting and told them all what had happened and made the executive decision that “today was a day to be with your families”.


When asking my father what is the biggest thing that he thinks of when remembering that horrific day, he answered very quickly with, “the shock”. He goes on to say, “...you always heard of terrorist attacks but up until then there was nothing of that magnitude on home soil”. My father believes that the entire world was in some way affected by the 9/11 attacks, and he recalls hearing that his childhood friend, Mark Bavis was directly affected. Mark Bavis and my father had attended the same elementary school and high school and had grown up playing sports together. Mark was aboard United Airlines flight 175 from Boston when it struck the South Tower.


My father describes the days after 9/11 as “eerie with deafening silence”. My father often tells me that although I don’t always notice it, airplanes make noise that fills in the world’s silence. He recalls the silence from everything, including travel being shut down for days. He remembers the new fear that had grown nationally, the worry of more attacks.


My father described American life before September 11 as having a sense of “untouchable pride,” or the feeling that a terrorist attack of that scale couldn’t possibly be carried out against the U.S. After the attacks, he felt that, as he describes it, cocky feeling diminish quickly. He now has second thoughts before boarding a plane or attending big sporting events, which had never concerned him before.


When asking my father about the immediate changes he witnessed the days after 9/11, he describes unity. “The only thing I can say is that it unified the country for a short time, we were all Americans,” he states.


My father believes that although much has changed in everyday life since the events that took place on 9/11, there are still a few things that linger, like ignorance. He stated “there is still a sense of ignorance to what the real issues were... people still don’t know why or how it happened...what built up to it”. He then went on to say that although he felt America was unified for a limited period of time following 9/11, that unification was quickly broken by a rise of hatred. He connects the time after 9/11 to the spread of COVID-19 in the ways in which minorities were attacked. He believes that the rise of Islamophobia in the U.S. and the rise of racist attacks against Asian Americans in the U.S. are examples of the ignorance that is still unfortunately present in America. Along with @etherealfrog's connection to 9/11 resulting in a distrust in the government, my father too believes that as a result of the fear and frantic search for answers in the aftermath of 9/11, some people began to grow suspicion of the government, leading to conspiracy theories based on no factual information.


To end my interview with my father I asked him simply if he had any words for my generation, that did not live through the events that took place on 9/11. He started by saying, “9/11 is like a scar, every time you look at it you have to remember how you got it and why. You hope to learn from it.” He finished his sentiments with a phrase that I hear him say so often when recalling 9/11, “If 9/11 could teach you anything it would be to always say ‘I love you’ to those that you love because you truly never know if you will see them again”.

My father also talked about the distrust in the government increasing. As well as a rise in nationalism that corresponds to the increase in Islamophobia. The connection between the COVID-19 pandemic causing a rise in anti-asian sentiment and 9/11 causing Islamophobia is very powerful and I totally agree.

freud
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

Originally posted by Bumble Bee on September 13, 2021 18:14

My parents were getting ready for work in their apartment in California. My mother was working at a law firm in San Francisco, and my father was working from home that day as a salesman. They turned on the tv to watch the morning news as they did every day. That’s when they learned of the first plane crash. At first they thought it was a tragic accident like so many Americans believed at the time. Then they watched as the second plane crashed into the other tower.

My parents didn't know what they were supposed to do or how they should act. My mother remembers having a conversation with my dad saying, “Well I guess I’ll go to work.” She recalls that she ended up getting on the train to go into the city. She made it there, but the city was completely shutting down. She spotted her coworker looking confused. Since California is three hours behind New York, it was still quite early in the morning. Her coworker had woken up, gotten ready, and left. She had no idea what had happened. My mother was the one who told her of the news, leaving the woman in shock. Then they both got back on the train and went home.

My parents, like the rest of the country, were glued to their tv trying to make sense of everything for the rest of the day. My father remembered how people weren’t sure how many planes had been hijacked or if more attacks were going to happen. “There could have been another attack, or a lot more attacks, anywhere at any time. We had no idea, and that was one of the scariest things. You just didn’t know,” he stated. One of the most tragic things my father remembers was the people who jumped out of the towers because they were trapped and couldn’t take the intense heat and smoke.

My parents said that because they were out west they actually felt a little disconnected from the events. Now that my parents live in Boston they know many people who lost loved ones on 9/11. One of their friends had a close friend who was a flight attendant on the plane that left from Logan Airport. Neither of my parents knew anyone personally who died on that day.

When I asked them what changed after, they mentioned the increased security in the country, especially at airports, like @etherealfrog talked about in their post. “When you go to the airports and stadiums it was never like that before,” my mother recalled. Obviously there was a lot of racial profiling. Something my mother noticed working at a company that helped people get work visas was that her job slowed down a lot because a lot of her clients weren’t allowed to come over to the US. The inner fear and anxiety of when could it happen again is something that has stuck with my mother to this day. A different take they also had was that it brought their generation together like never before. My father says that before 9/11 their generation was known as the one that hadn’t lived through any wars or a big crisis. This was a defining event for them and an event he thinks they will be defined by in the future.

My parents had never talked about their experience during 9/11 so having this talk was very eye opening. It made everything seem so much more real to me.

My parents also mentioned the increase in airport security and difficulty with immigration that ensued. My parents also asked me what my impression was of the event, and it was difficult to answer because there was no change for me. There was no "how the airport was before," TSA and extreme measures seems normal to me. I've seen a lot of posts of how racial profiling is apparent in airports

groot
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by giraffes12 on September 13, 2021 21:16

On the day of 9/11, my dad was in a courthouse in Providence, Rhode Island. He was working as a clerk for a federal judge there. On 9/11, it was a regular day, not a cloud in the sky. That day at the courthouse was a jury selection day, so he was helping with that. The, his wife called him suddenly to tell him to turn on the news, two planes had hit the World Trade Center. So he and the rest of the people there, including the jurors, turned on the news and watched, transfixed, at the TV, where The Twin Tower were billowing smoke everywhere.The true shock came however, as they all watched the TV, when the first tower collapsed. And then the second one.

My dad's college roommate searched all day for his brother, and finally found him in the haze. He had been in the first tower, but managed to make it out. Also, two of his high school classmates died in 9/11, as did seven people from his college. He wasn't close to anyone lost in the tragedy, but he knew people who were.

My dad says that the main way this country and the atmosphere changed was the way we immediately entered two different decades long wars. Security was so much tighter, and remains that way even today, in places all over. Also, directly after 9/11, the country was very united, but soon it had become even more divided than it has ever been, due to many things, one of them being the wars. My dad says about the ongoing political debate that relates to 9/11 is that some people still want to fight and end terrorism altogether, and some think our resources are better off somewhere else.

I've seen a lot of other people corroborating these same ideas. Most people remember the feeling of unity on the first day, and then as time went on, things started to fall apart again. People had felt so united on those first few days and yet soon after, people would go right back to arguing. The same political arguments they had left the day before would back and once again divide the population. Thank you for sharing this story.

Sunshine
Posts: 4

20 Years After September 11, 2001

On the day of 9/11 my dad was teaching computer science at a high school. He was in room 258 when he heard the news. Immediately he made a call. This call was to his sister as her husband, my dad’s brother in law, my uncle, had an office in the Twin Towers. He wanted to make sure he wasn’t at his office during the attack. Luckily, my uncle worked late the night before and planned on going into his office later in the morning. He is a lawyer, so his schedule is more flexible. Even though my uncle was safe, he lost so much. He lost co-workers, important documents (like his diplomas and client records), and he lost sentimental items as well.


As my dad recalls the day he says it was a beautiful day. It was a sunny, crisp fall day. Then he found out from a teacher what had happened. He was grateful that his brother-in-law was okay, but he was also nervous. Nervous about the students’ reactions as they found out between classes, nervous about what this would mean for the country, and nervous about the future. From that point on he describes the day as extremely quiet, almost in a peaceful sense. Immediately, they shut down all flights and the only noise in the sky was military jets.


After the fact, there were many changes. Some lasted and some didn’t. One that had a massive impact, but didn’t last was the stock market shutting down. This made times very uncertain because no one knew when it was going to open up again and the economy crashed. A few changes that lasted however were the TSA and Homeland Security. My dad recalls how easy it used to be to walk through the airport and how that is certainly not the case now. He even remembers that his school added extra security measures. 9/11 changed the trajectory of US history completely.

Piper Clarke
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 3

20 Years after 9/11

My interviewer was working at the VA at the time. It was a Thursday and she knew it was a Thursday because they had to drive down to Brockton. It was a clear, sunny day and they noticed that it was a beautiful day outside. Usually on the drive down, they would listen to NPR and in the middle of their drive they reported that one of the planes hit the towers. Nothing was very clear and it seemed like it was an accident. When she got to the VA everyone was watching the news and that was when the second plane hit. They were all very emotional and it was difficult to figure out what was going on and what caused the planes to crash. The whole day was filled with shock and they feared what would happen next. By the end of the day they figured it was a terrorist attack because of what also went down at the Pentagon. After 9/11, my interviewer had a more pessimistic view on the world and about humanity. For weeks they played on the news about what happened and they could see how much damage it caused. The people dying on the plane and jumping out of the windows to escape death. We ended up entering a war with the middle east that we shouldn’t have and now we’re in situations that we can’t get out of because there is more war and violence between countries. They feel like it caused many people to be more fearful towards the muslim community and it increased prejudice against people of color.

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