On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, America suffered the worst blow to its pride since Pearl Harbor. On that fateful day, nineteen years ago, nineteen terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners. They crashed two airplanes into the Twin Towers in NYC and destroyed the World Trade Center, roared a third airliner into the Pentagon (headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense) and set its western wing on fire, and flew the fourth airliner toward Washington D.C. In that last plane, the heroism of passengers, who fought against the terrorists, prevented an even greater disaster as they caused the plane to crash into a field in Stonycreek, Pennsylvania. Three thousand lives were lost, 25,000 people were injured, and countless more suffered and still suffer from substantial health consequences in what became the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history.
America missed a chance to change its future for the better because it did not see that its heydays were behind it, that they crumbled together with the collapse of the Soviet bloc, which kept America on its toes. Now, smug and complacent, it was decaying and declining, but it could not see it yet. Today it can, but I am not sure it’s not too late.
It left not only America, but the whole world in shock. No one perceived America as vulnerable, certainly not on its own territory, and in its most sensitive and essential spots. Anyone who was old enough to understand a news bulletin will never forget where they were when they learned what had happened.
To many people, the collapse of the towers meant much more than the grief over lost and ruined lives. It implied that the 21st century was going to be very different from its predecessor and that it did not bode well for America.
The US did everything it could to prevent another 9/11 (nine eleven), as that day became known. It tightened airport and airplane security, and launched a massive manhunt in Afghanistan, where Osama Bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda, the organization that carried out the attacks, was hiding. In 2011, after nearly a decade of…