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The American Dream Is Alive and Well

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Sometimes History Is Sadness
The World Trade Center: More Than Just an American Building Complex
Why Do People Go to War?

Part 1: September 11

On September 11, 2001, thousands of people died.

The World Trade Center, one of the most famous symbols of New York and of the United States, was destroyed. One airplane hit each of the two tallest towers. Not long after those crashes, both towers collapsed. The Pentagon, the center of the U.S. Defense Department, was also hit by an airplane, and many people died there, too.

Farther away, another airplane that had been hijacked crashed in Pennsylvania. Everyone aboard was killed.

A great many people were injured, too. And as we approach another September 11, many of us are asking all kinds of questions. One of those questions is this: How do we refer to September 11, 2001?

It was a tragedy, certainly. Those thousands of people who died or were injured weren't on the battlefield, holding guns or driving tanks or flying planes. They were working in offices. They were trading stocks and bonds. They were planning retirement packages for older people. They were planning trips for eager travelers. They were planning TV news coverage for later in the day. They were mopping the floors. They were answering phones. They were planning lunch meetings and dates. They were reading jokes in their email Inboxes.

The people who planned those horrible attacks that killed all these innocent people would have you believe that the attacks were part of a war, a war against the United States and what it stood for.

The people who planned those horrible attacks would have you believe that those stockbrokers and travel agents and TV news reporters and janitors and everyone who worked in the offices of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were nothing more than soldiers on a battlefield, fighting the war for the hearts and minds of people all over the world.

The people who planned those horrible attacks are wrong.

Killing people in offices is not the way to win a war. That kind of attack is cowardly. History is full of such "kill the innocents" attacks. These were no different. The people who planned those horrible attacks thought that they were fighting a war of East vs. West, Islam vs. Christianity and Judaism, Us vs. Them.

They were wrong.

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