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9/11 – Remembering the Moment the World Gasped Here on the Suncoast

| Angela Naff |

Today is one of those days that most adults alive in the United States, and the world for that matter can tell you where they were on this day twenty-two years ago. It was a day that started like any other workday and would end indelibly engraved in the conscious mind of a generation as one that made us gasp. Airplanes cracking into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in a field in Pennsylvania after a passenger revolt flashed across televisions everywhere. According to Wikipedia, not including the 19 hijackers, the attacks killed 2,977 people, injured thousands more, and gave rise to substantial long-term health consequences while also generating at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. It has been described by many as the deadliest terrorist act in human history and remains the deadliest incident for both firefighters and law enforcement personnel in the history of the United States, killing 340 and 72 from each organization.

The aftermath of that day would result in conflicts overseas chasing the culprits, along with a change in the general perception of America’s untouchable status. So many casualties, even of those who went in to help people in the towers, made the horror change to unimaginable unrest in no time. The after-effects of 9/11 and the attacks forever changed the world in ways that no one at the time was ready to navigate. The number of people who lost someone in the towers or knew a person who volunteered for duty afterward to help go overseas to respond with military action spread to impact not just the immediate cities impacted. It was a moment in history that changed our collective worldview in so many ways.

Now, decades after the actual instance, we all need to take a beat today to remember those who perished in this atrocious act. There are lasting memorials such as the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, which is the country’s principal institution concerned with exploring 9/11, documenting its impact, and examining its continuing significance. Honoring those who were killed in the 2001 and 1993 attacks is at the heart of our mission. If you aren’t in a position to visit that physical memorial, please take a moment to remember in other ways those lost. If you know someone who served afterward, despite the politician and other feelings about those conflicts, please give them thanks as they did what they felt was right in that trying time. If someone you know was lost, remember them to the loved ones they left behind.

As everyone here on the Suncoast from Naples to Tampa remembers 9/11, take a moment of your own to contemplate that dark time in our history. There are lessons to be had the world over from this event, discussions spawned by what happened, and manhunts for the culprits that we watched play out in technicolor on our televisions. That said, it is the feelings of loss, anger, vengeance, worry, fear, and a new sense of no longer being untouchable that marked that day for most of us. We remember the day that made everyone gasp, and for a moment, everyone watched as history took a sharp turn, and as the towers came down, everyone watching had a collective moment that is as visceral today as it was in that moment twenty-two years ago.

Feature Photo Courtesy of Deposit Photos

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