The Unhealable Wound of America
By: Maria Guinnip ’20
September 11, 2001. 5:45 AM. American Airlines flight 11 from Boston, Massachusetts crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center. At that time, current Notre Dame students were at home watching cartoons or immersed in the comfort of their mother’s womb.
Sixteen years ago, September 11 became known as one of the most tragic days in American history. According to CNN, a total number of 2,753 people died in these attacks. Among these were 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers. According to New York Magazine 1,609 people lost a spouse or partner and 3,051 children lost parents.
It started with 19 terrorists associated with the Islamist extremist group, al-Qaeda. They hijacked four commercial airplanes filled with innocent citizens. They crashed two planes into the Twin Towers, one into the Pentagon.
The fourth plane was said to be headed to the White House according to a source for CBS News. The passengers managed By crashing the plane in an isolated location in rural Pennsylvania rather than a bustling urban area, the courageous passengers on board this flight are credited with preventing the deaths of many at the initial destination. .
Although most Notre Dame students were too young to have any recollection of this day, they have heard stories, read articles, and have been educated on the topic of this attack on our nation.
Emily Street 20’ visited the 9/11 Memorial in New York City just last year. The memorial is located at the site where the Twin Towers once stood.
Although Emily was yet born at the time of the 9/11 attacks, she was still deeply affected by the stories and visuals of that day and the ones that followed.
Seeing all of the recovered remains in one place made her feel, “emotionally devastated by the thought of losing so many lives at one moment.” Seeing the pictures of those who died hung up on walls has resonated with her since.
Nikole Scillitani 20’ had family members living in Manhattan at the time of the attacks, and although they were not injured, her entire family still considers “that it could’ve been them.”
Even those who do not have an immediate connection to the events that took place on September 11th still carry a burden and grief shared by every American.
Julia Rondon 20’ said that even though she was not alive and has no recollection of this day that she believes it “prepared [her] consciously for any future events as drastic as 9/11.”
9/11 wounded our nation in a way that has been slow to heal.
This year, let us continue to pray for peace and healing.
“In times of pain, give me comfort. In times of despair, give me hope. In times of hatred, give me love. In times of doubt give me trust. And even when I feel far from you, be close to me, Loving God. ” (Fr. James Martin, S.J.)