Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, a date that we, as a nation, need not forget. It serves in our best interest to remember the events of the past and to honor those who lost their lives on that terrible day. 20 years later, there exists a new generation of Americans who have little-to-no understanding of the events of 9/11, and as student reporters it is our duty to keep the public informed.
Four planes bound for the West Coast were loaded down with a few hundred passengers, 15 hijackers, and enough jet fuel to carry them across the country. Each flight was hijacked in air, and the planes themselves were used as weapons of terror in one of the world’s worst terrorist attacks on civilians ever recorded. The first plane, a flight out of Logan Airport bound for LAX, was used to strike the North Tower of the World Trade Center in the heart of New York City’s financial district at 8:46 a.m. The second plane, also out of Logan Airport bound for LAX, struck the South Tower at 9:03 a.m. as the whole world watched. “Oh my goodness…this seems to be on purpose,” said a local Fox News host covering the event as the second plane hit.
American Airlines Flight 77, bound for LAX out of Dulles International Airport was flown into one side of the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The final plane, United Flight 93, departing from Newark and bound for San Francisco, crashed into a field near Shanksville, PA. It is believed that Flight 93 was meant to strike either the U.S. Capital Building or the White House, but the bravery of the passengers on board Flight 93, in their attempt to take back the plane, foiled the last attack.
2,996 innocent civilians, first responders and the terrorists lost their lives that day, and 20 years later, we at The Tiger choose to remember and honor those men and women who were simply going in to work on that beautiful Tuesday morning, and the first responders who gave their lives to save others.
These attacks were an attempt to shatter the American way of life, and deliberately targeted the heart of US commerce, defense, and government. Lives were lost, passenger planes were weaponized, and buildings fell to the ground, but it is crucial that we remember the fact that America Did Not Fall, and remains standing today.
Sept. 11, 2001 was 46 days shy of my first birthday. Many of us currently on staff with The Tiger had yet to reach a-year-old, some of us had yet to be born. We cannot recall that day, the details or the emotions, but we can express our sympathy to the victims and their families, and our gratitude to all the first responders who acted so selflessly.
Following the attacks, The Tiger ran a print issue on Sept. 14, 2001. Editorial Editor Alison Bruce included a moving piece in that issue, and it is included below.
“I am not really sure what to say at this moment in time. I feel like crying and screaming and praying and I can't decide which reaction is best. I woke up this morning with a lump in my throat and an overwhelming sense of despair, and I had to shake off remnants of sleepiness to remember where these feelings came from. So, what now? What does one say after something like this? The words that already exist in the English language don't seem adequate now. I guess that this is one of those times when there are no words to express the absolute horror of what happened yesterday. I have been to New York many times, and whenever I think of that city, the World Trade Center towers appear in the skyline. The idea that those buildings are gone amazes me. I don't think I even believe it yet. How can one of the symbols of the largest city in America disappear in the space of an hour? Not to mention express the Pentagon. It has always been a symbol of American power and military, and it has always seemed like one of those places that no outside force would ever be able to touch or damage. Yet there it sits up in Washington with a huge chunk taken out of one side. Unbelievable. I guess now the government will figure out who to blame and who to bomb for this atrocity. I don't even want to think about what the next month is going to be like. What I do know is that it will take a long time for this to sink in for me. I feel unsafe now, and vulnerable. After all, the government that we depend on for protection could not protect us against this. Not that I'm blaming them at all, because who could ever even imagine protecting against such a scenario? I think now the best thing for all of us to do is just reflect and hope. Let's try to help each other get through this tragedy. All we can do is take things one day at a time. One of the primary rules for newspaper writing and production is that you try to minimize the amount of blank space appearing in your pages. I feel like the strongest statement I can make right now in this newspaper is to leave a big, blank space at the end of this column. Consider it a moment of silence, or a prayer, or simply a symbol of the loss that we experienced yesterday. Whatever you do, just hope that there never has to be a space like this again. In memory...”
Please follow this link to see the full issue of The Tiger’s Sept. 14, 2001 issue.