For nearly 10 years, The New York Times has reported on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and the subsequent local and global effects of the worst terrorist attacks ever to occur on American soil. Now, with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks a few months away, we want to hear from you.
photo ©2001, Laurance Fendrick
During several days this summer, journalists on our multimedia team will be stationed at locations around New York and the region with video cameras, ready to record your thoughts about Sept. 11. Our purpose is to answer the question: What did you learn from 9/11?It made me start thinking about it. You have all seen my personal account of that day, but what was learned is something I have never thought about before.
I think that we have had to learn that as large a country as we are, we are still vulnerable to terrorism. No foreign attacks on US soil had occurred since the War of 1812 (Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was a US territory at the time it was bombed by the Japanese), and I think that none of us thought it could happen here. There was the Oklahoma City bombing, but that was carried out by one of our own. The first clue we had was the bombing in the World Trade Center parking garage a few years earlier.
However, we have become the country that others have come to hate, so had we been thinking logically, the attacks of 9/11 were inevitable.
It certainly makes us think about the fragility of life. How many left their homes that morning and never returned to their families? These were not soldiers in the Middle East who knew their lives were in danger, but were victims of that war nonetheless.
So I ask you ... what do you think was learned by the events of 9/11 and the days following? What did you learn personally? If you live in the US - what should we have learned? If you live outside of the US, how was your country affected, if at all? (I am particularly interested in the non-US point of view so please share your thoughts.)
I look forward to reading your comments (below) on this ...