On this day seventeen years ago, the world changed. The world changed for the average American on the streets because the notion of safety which was taken for granted was blown to smithereens. The world changed for so many, especially the almost three thousand souls for whom the World Trade Center used to be the place of work or business. The world changed for New York and its skyline which became permanently altered before their very eyes as they watched the twin towers; the very essence of New York architecture crumble into ashes before their very eyes.

On September 11, 2001 the world changed in the world’s perception of terror and terrorism as many watched airplanes converted into missiles by the ruthlessness and wickedness of man for whom so many souls who went about their businesses suddenly had their lives abbreviated unto glory by the dastardly act of being numbered among the humans who became part of the missiles that brought down the twin towers. The world also changed for the fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, and relations of victims of the World Trade Center slaughter, which remains the single most devastating terrorist attack not just in

America, but in any other nation of the world.

The world changed on 9/11 for many firefighters who offered their lives in their bid to rescue others. The world changed for many who had said bye to their loved ones as they stepped out to go to their offices at the twin towers. The hijackers ensured that their loved ones who went to work rather than war, never came back home.

The world also changed for the crew and passengers of Flight 93 which the al-Qaeda terrorists intended to use as a missile to wipe out the White House. The bravery and sacrifice of the crew and passengers who terminated the horrible plan of the terrorists saved the United States what would have turned out to be the embarrassment of the millennium. It also turned out to be the day in which the very heart of America’s defense, the Pentagon was breached. Had the terrorists had their way, America would have been absolutely humbled and brought to its knees.

Apart from going all out for al-Qaeda which the then George Bush administration did, compared to what any of the Middle East states would have done if the shoe was on the other foot, America’s response was tame. However, America’s anger over 9/11 ensured that Osama bin Laden remained relatively quiet and in hiding until he was hunted down midway into President Obama’s second term.

We join all men of goodwill to say, never again.

Gabby Ogbechie

Twitter – @GabbyOgbechie1

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