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Such A Bad, Bad Day

Reaction to the terrorist attacks.


by S.E. Shepherd
September 11, 2001

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Such A Bad, Bad Day_S.E. Shepherd-Reaction to the terrorist attacks. What can be said about the terrorist attacks Tuesday morning, that hasn’t already be said? Right now, as I’m writing this, it is Tuesday afternoon, and the details that I’m sure we’ll hear over and over again, are not clear. The Trade Towers are gone. I watched the sickening video replay of their collapse undoubtedly as you have. All I can think of is the thousands of people who never saw it coming.

Those that died instantly were lucky. I can only imagine the terror of those engulfed in smoke and flame, trying desperately to get out alive, only to have the 100-plus story buildings collapse on them. There can be no worse feeling than surviving a horrible accident, and then realizing you might not have enough time to escape it.

Even more frightening than the act itself is the idea that these terrorists were willing to sacrifice hundreds of airline passengers to fulfill their act. It is one thing to perform a suicide mission, it is another to take a planeload of innocent people down with you. We speculate that the pilots of these aircraft were removed from their controls, at least at the very end. To think that any pilot would deliberately crash into a building is unfathomable.

Every American feels the way I do, I’m sure. The whole event seems like a surreal nightmare. I am torn between rage and sorrow and an almost overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. We all knew it could happen; we just never thought it would. Someone hit us hard and quick and cowardly, and we want whoever did this held responsible. We want justice, and yes, maybe even a little revenge.

All airports have been shut down, and who knows when they’ll open again. But they will open again. Security will be tighter, making travel more of a hassle, but people will tolerate it. There will be an uneasiness amongst all air travelers for a long time to come, and maybe passengers will be friendlier to each other, yet suspicious of one another.

People will ask how could we let this happen and try to make sure it never happens again. But this is one of the many risks of having an open society. We could crack down, become stricter, tighter, more totalitarian, and strip away some of the rights we hold so dearly, but we won’t. Because that’s what the terrorists want, they want us to live in fear.

We will, however, live with a sense of vulnerability. Yes, we can be touched. And the damage can be devastating.

If President Bush is the leader we all hope him to be, the terrorists will fear us. It is his job to find the people responsible for these horrible acts and deal with them accordingly. It is our job as a society to rebound from this tragedy, but not forget its lessons or the people that suffered such a terrible fate.

To think of the New York skyline without the World Trade Center seems impossible, and yet, it is now gone. Every time I see that plane crash, I feel like someone’s punching me in the gut. And the towers collapsing… and the people jumping…

And then there’s the crash into the Pentagon and the victims there. And the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, targeted for who knows where. So many innocent lives destroyed at the hands of a group of madmen.

Trying to deal with such a horrific act is almost impossible right now. So many killed…Please, someone tell me this is just a nightmare…

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Such A Bad, Bad Day
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