Shades Of Gray: The Importance Of Seeing The Other Side In A Post 9 11 World Of Black And White

10175 words - 41 pages

Shades of Grey: The importance of Seeing the Other Side in a Post 9-11 World of Black and WhiteOn September 11, 2001 at 8:45am American Airlines, flight number 11 out of Boston MA, carrying 81 passengers and 11 crew members crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center and exploded into flames. At 9:03am, United Airlines, flight 175, also out of Boston, carrying 56 passengers and 9 crew members crashed into the south tower. Soon after, American Airlines, flight 77, exploded into the Pentagon. United Airlines, flight 93, through the heroic acts of passengers, missed its target, crashing into a field in Pennsylvania (CNN.)A CNN web page quotes eye-witness accounts of the tragic scene at Ground Zero, "It just went `bam like a bomb went off. It was like holy hell..." "I saw people jumping off the building...Everyone was screaming, running... people were stampeding, people started screaming that there was another plane coming and the second building just exploded." The first attack ever to be launched on the continental US came not against a military target but against thousands of innocent civilians. The death toll following the attack, stood at over 3,400 people, including police, fire, and rescue workers who had lost their lives in the line of duty.The day the Twin Towers fell, was the day that Americans lost the sense of security that comes from living in a country which had never experienced an attack on its own soil, and began living in a state of constant anxiety and suspicion from which many have yet to recover. It was the day our world became divided into "us" and "them." It was the day after which, Americans sought protection from "them," and heedlessly sought their demise.I remember standing at he sink that morning, cleaning the breakfast dishes, and thinking of how quiet the house seemed with my son beginning his first year at preschool, and only my youngest child still at home. Only half listening to a morning news show as I went about my morning routine, I heard the newscaster state that they would be cutting to live coverage of a scene of disaster in New York City. Turning my attention to the screen, I saw the first tower engulfed in flames. Before having a chance to fully register what was happening, I watched in disbelief as a plane slammed into the second tower.As news coverage continued, the situation, along with my growing sense of shock and anxiety only worsened. I heard commentators begin to speculate on the possibility of a terrorist attack, watched as the towers collapsed one after the other, and saw the scene of destruction at the Pentagon, where a third plane had collided. My thoughts as I heard the words, "America is under attack. It appears we are now at war..." centered on my family, my four-year-old son and teenage daughter off at schools which now seemed to be a world away, my three-year-old daughter, quietly coloring at my feet, blissfully unaware of the situation, my husband, a city employee, working in...

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