It is the third semester of being back in college and feel impressed to share a recent assignment from my Criminal Justice Class. We recently watched a few video clips about the 911 terrorist attacks back in 2001. My professor is a retired lieutenant of the NYPD and was on site where the World Trade Centers collapsed. He allowed us to view some footage of the wreckage that was given special to his department for a type of memoir. After watching the clips we were then instructed to write a one page paper on what we learned in class that day.
The Attack on 9/11: Information Not Everyone May Know
Most history taught in schools are perceived as events long past, and most crimes in news are broadcast shortly after they occur. The terrorist attacks in Manhattan on September 11, 2001 welded history and crime together as the Twin Towers fell. The World Trade Centers were a historic icon for capitalism and freedom which fumed the grand crime by the Al-Qaeda terrorist group.
Watching the documents about 911 in class left me reflecting on what was going on in my life at the time. Utah, the state I was residing in, was making its preparations to have the 2002 Winter Olympics. The day the towers came down I went to work as a receptionist at a Foot and Ankle clinic in Salt Lake City. Tuesdays were normally busy because there were two doctors working in the office, but on this day it was slow and somber. That night I went to massage school and some of us sat there in an empty class room wondering if the teacher would show up. Writing this paper has made me more aware that 911 has become history. However, the people who were more intimately affected may still feel as though it shortly occurred.
Here are 8 facts mentioned in class about the attacks that I wasn’t aware of or I found most interesting: 1) Large dump trucks transported debris off the crime scene to a landfill on Staten Island where it could be sifted through and used as evidence. 2) Workers on the crime scene were told after a couple of weeks they could remove their face masks. However, this wasn’t a good idea because now there has been thousands of cases with people having lung cancer and other illnesses due to the fumes. 3) The towers went 7 stories below ground where shops and eateries were also located. The explosion effected this area and caused fires to burn underground for over a year. 4) The destruction covered 16 acres of land. The deaths of 2400 civilians, 343 firefighter made this the largest American crime scene. 5) A St Paul’s church remained untouched in the middle of the 16 acres and was a place of refuge where workers could go and eat. 6) 200 people jumped out of the buildings which sounded like a mini earthquake. The people who survived said they jumped so their bodies could be identified by loved ones. 7) Divorce rates, alcoholism and prescription drug use increased after this event. Lastly, the 8th most significant piece of new information was the Boat-Lift which was the worlds’ largest sea evacuation; saving ½ million victims in 9 hours. The rescue wasn’t planned, nor were people formally trained; it was steered by people governing themselves with their moral guide. The Al-Qaeda terrorist group took much from America that day, but they didn’t take its humanity.
What I didn’t include in my paper was the story of Stephen Siller or also known as the Tunnel to Towers Foundations. Stephen’s Story http://tunnel2towers.org/