9/11 and the Significance it Holds Today

September 11, 2018, and the U.S. is still experiencing the after-effects of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers.


Jordyn Olsen

The Ridgeline Boys Football team runs onto the field waving the U.S. Flag.

“9/11” is a phrase commonly used to refer to the September 11 attacks 17 years ago, and with this year’s senior class graduating, also graduates the majority of the kids who were even alive when the attacks happened. However, 9/11 is something that has become so ingrained into our history and culture that no matter if you were alive or not, you remember it.

Mr. Allred, who teaches U.S. History, agreed to talk about what 9/11 felt like to him, and what he thought about it:


Alisha Hawley: When you first got news of 9/11, where were you?


Mr. Allred: “[I was] in school, on a Tuesday morning… and a teacher, or maybe a student came over and said ‘look, a plane has hit one of the world trade centers,’ and the first thing that came out was ‘was it on purpose or was it an accident?’ and they said ‘I don’t know’. We watched that one, and then a second plane hit, and you knew it was on purpose then… we had started to watch things throughout the day, because it was like history unfolding.”


He described all of this as if it had happened only recently, and it felt oddly familiar to me, knowing that all of this happened over at Mountain Crest, just a few miles from here.


AH: How did you view it?


Mr. A: (shaking his head) “I didn’t believe it at first, until I saw it from several different angles.”


Allred said they would switch through the 25 channels on the TV that every class had, seeing it from all of these different angles, and they would turn to channels from Mexico that were uncensored, to see the people that were jumping out of the towers to escape the flames.


AH: What do you do in your classes every year on 9/11?


Mr. A: (firmly) “I have a little piece to show about it, because it’s still with us today.”


AH: What effects happened as a result of 9/11?


Mr. A: “Everybody flew a flag, everywhere in the country (he spreads his arms) … You could see things in France, in England, in Russia, all over the world… [they] wanted out of monuments, because they thought they were next.”


He describes the huge wave of paranoia that swept through the world, and now not only in monuments, because suddenly “there was no place that couldn’t be hit… [because] they weren’t political actors, but evil individuals.”


At the same time, Allred considered that there was a “great sense of unity, maybe because of the great fear we had.”


But the effects didn’t stop there.


After 9/11, President Bush declared the war on terrorism and we entered the Middle East. We never really left. The national spending on Military has gone up, and our national debt continues to worsen.


On the other had, 9/11 has become a day of unity for the nation, and was officially named the “National Day of Service and Remembrance”, as well as “Patriot Day”. People also still put up flags all around the nation.


As you continue on this month, think about 9/11 and what it means for you, and comment below!