The​ ​Unhealable​ ​Wound​ ​of​ ​America

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum shares the same foundation as the infamous Twin Towers. It stands tall in honor of everyone who lost or risked their lives on that tragic day. (Photo by: Nikole Scillitani ’20)

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.)


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