Monday, September 11
Five years ago, as tens of thousands of Americans watched on television with a sense of surreal horror, the two towers of the World Trade Center collapsed into flaming steel, rubble, and dust, and vanished from the skyline of lower Manhattan. Just hours earlier, the most brazen and horrific terrorist attack in human history was carried out when extreme Muslim partisans crashed commercial airliners into both of the towers as well as the Pentagon in Washington, DC. A fourth hijacked plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania when the passengers realized what was transpiring and overwhelmed the terrorists. The death toll rose to nearly three thousand--including scores of police, fire, and rescue workers who ran into the buildings to save those trapped in the infernos that ensued. And thus the nation was suddenly transformed--and unified--by adversity in a way that prosperity never could. That unity did not long endure of course, but it was palpable while it lasted.