September 11: Fifteen years later

Remy Farkas, Editor-in-Chief of The Panther

Fifteen years ago, we were young: three, two, one and some not even born. To teens, this day is a blur, but to generations older than us, it is a vivid memory. A normal Tuesday turned deadly when four al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists boarded airplanes at LaGuardia Airport with the intent to kill.

The first jet flew into the 80th floor of the north World Trade Center tower at 9:03 a.m. Eighteen minutes later, the second jet hit the south tower, at the 60th floor. Both towers were sliced in half, killing hundreds instantly, trapping hundreds more above the crash site and leaving the remaining rushing out of towers.

A separate hijacker flew an American Airlines flight into the corner of the Pentagon, killing 189 people in the process. The last hijacked plane, United Flight 93, en route to the United States Capitol, crashed into a Pennsylvania field, killing 45 people.

Back in New York City, the World Trade Centers collapsed, killing many people in the building and civilians and emergency responders on the ground.

The events on Sept. 11, 2001 killed thousands, devastated the United States and introduced the western world to terrorism, leading the way for future attacks (although none of which have been as devastating).

While Sept. 11 was a day of heartbreak, it was also a day of unity. Americans came together to comfort one another through a time of national mourning.

“In times of grief we need to stick together,” freshman Jack David said. “It shows that we are strong enough that nothing can bring us down.”

On this day, Americans remember those lost and remember how far the U.S., as a country, has come.

In fifteen years, America has gone to war with terrorism, sending troops overseas and strengthening security at home. But today, terrorism still plagues the world.

President George W. Bush declared Sept.11 Patriot Day a National Day of Service and Remembrance of the attacks.

“I think it’s [Patriot Day] to remember that [our country] is still strong.” sophomore Abraham Manigo said.

As years progress, there is concern that our generation, the generation that grew up following the attacks, will not fully understand the gravity of the day and the impact it holds in American history.

Schools across the country acknowledge the day and observe a moment of silence, and teachers are encouraged to talk to students about the day in order to ensure that future generations never forget.