Shades of Grey: The importance of Seeing the Other Side in a Post 9-11 World of Black and White
On 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,