Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On 9/11

This piece was written as a free (opinion based) response based on the cue, "On 9/11, ..." This is the take I took on it.


I’ve always been afraid of flying. The idea that a plane could crash tears me up inside like a piece of paper shredded to confetti. I can’t explain it any better than that. So, you can imagine my insecurity when two of our American airliners hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

It’s easy to say where you were at the time of the attacks – that is, if you’re old enough to remember. At this point, I’m an adult. I can even vote in the next Presidential election. But then, I was a freshman in high school. Learning Greek dances for my humanities course. No one believed our classmate when he told us the news, but minutes later – we were watching it all unfold on television.

Since 9/11, I’ve been less afraid to fly. But it wasn’t always that way. At first, I was scared beyond wits end. I believe Miriam Tucker captured my thoughts on that quite well in an article she wrote for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in December 2001. She asked, “So, why are so many people – myself included – more afraid to fly now?” And answered with, “Because of the news, that’s why.”

Her reasoning behind this is that from September 11th to December, the news ran some sort of scary story about airplanes or airports. There was no escaping it. Now, we don’t see much of the whole “horror story airport scenarios” crowded our news airwaves. I’m thankful for that.

I like to think that if we ever found ourselves in a similar situation to 9/11 that we’d find a way to get out of it. NPR released information in July 2004 regarding the increased aviation security methods imposed by our government. After more than $9 billion was spent on enhanced security measures, it’s up to us for the rest.

We must remain resilient.

Much like Harrison Ford in “Air Force One”, the people on United flight 93 fought the terrorists to the death – even though that meant everyone on the plane died. Every time I hear Ford say “Get off my plane,” I get what he’s saying. And, had I been in the situation, I would’ve done the same.

So, here’s my message to the terrorists 7 years later:

“Get off my plane. This is our ride. There will never be a day you can hijack our freedoms ever again.”

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