During an otherwise pleasant and clear morning on Sept. 11, 2001, the world witnessed the violence that so plagued the 20th Century cross over into the 21st.
Those TV images, horrific and graphic, have become for many the very image of terrorism itself — giant airliners flying into the upper floors of the largest office towers in New York City.
In an instant, everything changed. Aside from the immediate loss of many lives at the World Trade Center, Pentagon in Washington and a field in Pennsylvania, there were political and social ramifications that still impact people in the United States and around the world to this day.
The decade-old terrorism attacks that shook the West probably couldn’t be described as the most tragic event in human history, nor did the attacks on that day cause the most deaths from one specific event. However, that day also represents a loss of innocence that makes it truly epic in the absolute worst sense of the word.
In the post-Cold War era, the democratic nations of Western ideology might have felt complacent that their side had proven itself the victor and its values would grow unabated, bringing greater stability and prosperity indefinitely. In 9/11, we saw the world was not quite out of history yet.
And since that day, the history has kept going, and so often in a very negative direction. Wars, threats to civil liberties, racism, Islamophobia, mistrust, fear — it’s tough not to be cynical in light of all that has been ‘achieved’ since those wretched acts of terrorism.
Although referring to the 1941 Pearl Harbour attacks, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words could too so adequately describe 9/11 — “A day which will live in infamy.”
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.