As people started their workdays on the East Coast, attentions shifted — slowly at first — from meetings and emails to hefty television sets. The image of one and then two smoking towers over New York City stopped the world in its tracks until there were no towers to look at.
A similar attack on the Pentagon and a crashed airplane in rural Pennsylvania, another wave of coordinated attacks, sent the U.S. into a frenzy that grounded all commercial flights that day.
The moment dominated the news for months, and the events it set in motion dominated for years after that. A common phrase, “Never forget,” emerged.
On Sunday, we asked Facebook readers for comments of support to first responders and those serving in the military that could run in the Sept. 11 edition of The Facts. Attached to it was a photo from a previous Patriot Day commemoration in Lake Jackson.
We received only three responses.
There might be other factors, but if that had run in 2003, we likely would have needed to add pages to that day’s edition. Times change, and it seems some have forgotten.
Young adults entering college this year have never known of an airport without the Transportation Security Administration. Pilots have always been locked away at the front of the plane. The tallest building in New York is One World Trade Center, a 1,776-foot monolith replacing the towers terror destroyed.
The world has moved on.
Events like those today in Angleton and Lake Jackson will feature first responders and U.S. flags at every turn. Despite the passion of the people attending and organizing these events, there seems to be a lot less attention being paid to 9/11 these days.
Even firefighters at ground zero found themselves fighting for their lives as they attempted to secure continued funding for treatment of the illnesses resulting from fighting the flames and trying to save lives in the Twin Towers.
Take some time today to reflect on the moments that reshaped the country we live in, and if you know someone who might not have been aware or alive for the events to unfold on nearby televisions, take a moment to explain what happened.
Those who lost their lives that day did not do so by choice, and people only truly disappear when they stop being remembered. Don’t let that happen.