Every American remembers where they were when the planes crashed into the towers 12 years ago, and since then everyone’s life has been affected by the events of 9/11, some for the better and some for worse.
Sept. 11 made Americans a closer people. We realized that, despite the differences that often divide the American public, we were still one country united. Across the backdrop of 9/11, the big differences that separated us didn’t seem so big anymore. In the aftermath of 9/11, people were friendlier, more pensive — if only for a time.
Even the world got smaller, as condolences came from friends and rivals alike. In 2002, representatives from 90 countries were on hand to remember those who had perished. Since 2006, a 10-story Russian sculpture has stood in New Jersey in remembrance of the events.
But for the harmony that the tragedy created, it has created rifts too. Following the attacks, many Americans were discriminated against for no reason. Muslims, Sikhs, and other groups have been the victims of an increase in hate crimes due to misguided anger. While many Americans found support in their fellow countrymen, many found disdain.
Now, 12 years later, much has changed. This era of American history will be defined as pre-9/11 and post-9/11. But, in the post-9/11 world, we hope that there will be more peace — not only in the United States, but also in the world.
“When I look out the window, I exhale a prayer of thanks for the color green, for my children’s safety, for the simple acts of faith like planting a garden that helped see us through another spring, another summer,” said Laura Rehrmann, the president of the Seattle Rotary Club. “And I inhale some kind of promise to protect my kids’ hopes and good intentions we began with in this country. Freedom of speech, the protection of diversity — these are the most important ingredients of American civil life. If I ever took them for granted, I don’t now.” (end)