Today marks 18 years since that fateful morning when terrorists hijacked three aircraft, crashing two into the World Trade Towers of NYC, resulting in the collapse of both iconic skyscrapers. Chances are you remember where you were that day, and how it felt. I personally saw the plume of black smoke obscuring the island of Manhattan where the towers used to be.
On the plus side, we came together as a people to stand against what happened that day. But on the downside, we gave up a tremendous number of our freedoms and allowed our lives to be fundamentally changed in the name of freedom.
Like it or not, the terrorists won
I know that eventually, our military struck back at the terrorist cells based in Afghanistan, and along the way chased out the horrible, inhumane Taliban in the process. Yes, eventually Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of that attack, was brought to justice.
Even still, they won.
We fundamentally changed our behaviors in reaction to that morning’s attacks. The government gave a ton of power to the President to take certain actions, which in turn has allowed for the current President to do awful, unprecedented things. In the name of security, we gave up a lot of our freedoms.
Don’t believe me? Go to the airport and get on an airplane. How long does it take to get through security? Do you think it’s really necessary to remove your shoes and limit liquids to sample bottles?
Need more examples? The government still maintains a lot more power for search and seizure than they should have, after the USA Patriot Act passed. It may have changed and partially “expired,” but it still impacts everything we do pretty heavily.
The newfound nationalism has also caused the backlash you see happening against immigrants today. Muslim countries are automatically suspect, despite the fact that most of those people are no different from you and me. Paranoia increased noticeably; violence, intolerance, and other ugliness against anyone not white-skinned has grown to levels not seen since the 1950’s; those in power used and continue to use fear created as an aftermath of that morning to hold onto…