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Attacks were acts, not events

Mark Sonnick | Monday, September 12, 2011

Riding my bicycle to school on Sept. 11, 2001, I can remember thinking what a beautiful day it was. Little did I know it would be one of the darkest days in U.S. history. It was the beginning of the “post-9/11 world.”

Ten years after the attacks, a lot has changed. The Pentagon has been repaired and federal officials have gone back to work there. One World Trade Center rises 80 stories above Lower Manhattan, well on its way to a final height of 1,776 feet. Workers have cleaned up the ash and dust that floated down like snow from the New York City sky. The plane wreckage has been cleared from a field in Shanksville, Pa.

We are rebuilding.

Considering the progress we have made, it can be tempting to consider 9/11 as an impersonal event. Is it time to simply put the attacks behind us and move on with our lives? No, because 9/11 was so much more than a point on the timeline of history. The Sept. 11 attacks were acts — not events — of intense hatred that claimed almost 3,000 innocent lives. They were not natural disasters; they were man-made.

The stages of grief are temporary, and it is good for us to rebuild and move forward after a tragedy. But we also ought to remember the heroism of the first responders, the families’ heartbreak for loved ones lost and the blind hatred of the fanatics who hijacked four commercial airliners.

With this in mind, may we stand against hatred in our world, bringing about a planet on which such heinous acts as the Sept. 11 attacks will never again be committed. There is a difference between living with a tragedy and forgetting about a tragedy. We must strive to do the former, not the latter.

Mark Sonnick


Siegfried Hall

Sept. 7