by Hiruni Manawadu

As we all know, 9/11 was a tragic day in the history of the United States, and had a massive effect on everyone. In this article we’ll explore the impact of this horrifying event, and the stain that it has left on this country.

The Event

Just like most of you readers, I was not yet alive when the twin towers went down, so here are the stories of those who were.

“I was actually in my apartment in Atlanta. I had just finished listening to a musical before I went to work. My roommate came home, and told me what happened because their entire office had shut down for the day. I was really worried and scared, because I had just found out that…. I was going to be a dad for the first time. And I was worried about the world that I was bringing my son into. I stopped worrying about that on September 12th, because of how America reacted, positively and united.”

  • Mr. Campbell -Drama

“I think I was in seventh grade, and I remember being called to an assembly and told what had happened. The assembly was big with no chairs, and the teachers in the back of the room were crying. Some of my peers were upset because they had parents traveling. I had relatives in New York at the time, and I was lucky to know that they were safe. But there was sort of a panic of people wanting to know if you could connect with them. It was eerie to see the footage on the news. It was a weird time. One of my favorite teachers was sobbing, and you kinda don’t know what to say.”

  • Mrs. Cowles -Art

“It was my first year teaching, and the teacher next door from me was new too. I was 21 and he was 55+ and a military guy. He came next door to my classroom, and he told me. Me and my roommate walked to the gas station to get the special edition of the newspaper, which never came out in the evening, to find out what happened. I just remember that all the teachers would have the TV on in between classes. But like Mr. Anthony said, it was just like the whole country came together.”

  • Mrs. Sandlin -Technology

The After-Math

9/11 had a massive impact on all Americans, but it also inflicted a wave of racism on the brown community. From rude remarks to aggressive deportation, people of the  South Asian community, specifically the Muslim community, had a new experience in their lives. From 2002-2009, hate crimes against Muslims increased 500 percent. Even little acts of aggression add up over time. Dr. Boehner shared that shortly after 9/11, one of her colleagues from Pakistan could no longer travel when they had business trips because he would constantly get pulled out by security. The racism set off by the 9/11 event had effects long after the event itself. Recently, for example, the Trump administration enacted travel bans against several Muslim countries, including a complete block of Syrian refugees. 

For many people, 9/11 was a time of fear and uncertainty, but that fear led to a time of unification and gratitude. It’s important to remember that people were shut out of this unity. This tragic event helps us to remember that cruelty does not resolve our fear, unity does. That lesson will continue to push the US on a path of progress.