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September 11 Two Years Later

On This Site

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

Part 1: Terrible Memories, New Challenges

On this September 11, many people will still be sad. Two years ago, thousands of people died, in office buildings, in airplanes, on the streets of New York and Washington, D.C. Thse were ordinary people, not soldiers. They worked in offices and businesses; they worked fighting fires and crime; they were tourists and schoolchildren, looking at the famous World Trade Center up close. They died in a great blaze and a tower of smoke. Their families are still grieving.

Two years later, the world, and especially the United States, will still be very mindful of what happened and what could still happen. Security at airports and at public buildings and monuments will be tight, probably moreso than normal. It can't be taken for granted that terrorists won't strike again. It can't be assumed that just because security is extra tight that something won't happen.

And yet, Americans seem to be coming to grips with the fact that the events of September 11, although unbelievably horrifying, are now part of a shared history, even if very recent history. Yes, the families of the victims will never forget. Yes, each September 11 of each successive, people around the country and the world will pause to remember the thousands of innocent people killed on that day in 2001. But for people at large, in the U.S. and the world, the second anniversary of the tragedy has put one more year behind them and brought with it new challenges:

Troops from the U.S., the United Kingdom, Poland, Japan, and other countries are now patrolling the streets and sands of Iraq, looking for resistance that is still threatening a lasting peace that should have brought on my the military victory over the forces of former dictator Saddam Hussein

Violence continues to rule the peace proceedings in the Middle East, as Israelis and Palestinians keep up their war of bullets in favor of a political discussion

The sputtering American economy shows life of getting going again, but a great many people are still out of work and even families that don't suffer from unemployment woes are finding it hard to make ends meet some times.

The outbreak of SARS earlier this year was a major scare worldwide.

Time can never erase the horrors of two years ago, but it can bring new things to focus on and a fresh sense of accomplishment at surviving another year. A year can also bring happiness and excitement, as families remember their loved ones and experience new highs to go with the lows. Yes, the unbelievable pain and sorrow will still be there, but it is also possible that new joy will arrive.

Will terrorists strike somewhere on September 11, 2003? It is possible, although not likely, given the intense security procedures that will be followed on that day. Also, more and more terrorists are being eliminated or arrested, making the world a somewhat safer place.

This year, people in America and around the world will be watching and hoping that one September 11 set of attacks is enough for many lifetimes.


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