This day in history
When September 11 comes, people across the globe could not help but remember the horrible event that gripped the conscience of humanity. The 9/11 bombing of the twin World Trade Center towers in Manhattan, New York, of Pentagon in Virginia and another in Shanksville, Pennsylvania all in the US with the use of hijacked commercial airliners in 2001, remains a chilling reminder of the strength of terrorism in a situation where people least expect a disaster to strike. Americas, a superpower, was never perceived to be as vulnerable as it was for such beastly suicide attack of the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden, yet that was it today in history.
In a video footage aired over Qatar-based TV station Al-Jazeera shortly before the 2004 US presidential elections, bin Laden confessed Al-Qaeda’s direct link to the 9/11 suicide attacks and threatened to sow further terror in the US should America continually interfere with the security of Al-Qaeda. This, however, did not budge the US government and proceeded with a war against the al-Qaeda till bin Laden is subdued. “The (George) Bush administration announced a War on Terror, with the stated goals of bringing bin Laden and al-Qaeda to justice and preventing the emergence of other terrorist networks. These goals would be accomplished by imposing economic and military sanctions against states perceived as harboring terrorists, and increasing global surveillance and intelligence sharing.” (Wikipedia)
Nations across the planet initiated measures and legislations intended to fight terrorism. Airlines have become more stringent in security measures, especially on board the aircraft. Military and police authorities took on a more pro-active stance in mitigating the effect of terrorist attacks and to stave off such possible assault on the citizenry. Call it paranoia but citizens have become more cautious against suspicious strangers and bins left unattended. This is better attitude than be sorry for being confident of someone or something and allowing harm to happen when it could be avoided.
Although there were people who thought that the death of bin Laden would spark yet again another retaliation attack from fanatic members of the al-Qaeda and the Taliban, no terrorist attack of such intensity and fierce repercussion occurred. Nevertheless, the people continued to be on the guard for self-preservation and safety. What is disturbing peace, however, is the war within not among nations, which most people tagged as acts of terrorism and political warfare, not necessarily in a network with the al-Qaeda.
In the Philippines, terrorism is primarily linked to the Abu Sayyaf, notwithstanding that trigger-happy lawless citizens, who are usually riding in tandem wearing oftentimes full-faced helmets, could just pull the trigger of their guns and kill innocent civilians in less than a minute. As clichés have it, “a person’s life is only worth a penny these days of economic hardship.” Homemade firearms, paltik as locally called, are easily available at a reasonable cost, according to a documentary aired recently over ci (Crime Investigation) channel. Because of poverty, some skilled laborers are manufacturing illegal firearms – short and long, with the use of scrap metals and other materials, like bicycle, for a price.
Today in history marks the day when one of the worlds few superpower was shaken not by earthquake but by a man-made catastrophe that killed about 3,000 innocent lives and destroyed properties not less than a part of US military hub, the Pentagon, and the famous twin towers in Manhattan called World Trade Center, not to elaborate on the four fully seated commercial planes (two from American Airlines and two from United Airlines) that were hijacked by 19 suicide bombers from the Islamist group al-Qaeda. But this terrorist attack was just one of the many events that took place across the globe on a September 11. There were good, not-quite-good and not-quite-bad incidents. In all these, there was one thing too common: we all learn from the lessons of these events, lessons we heed and never forget.
By: Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros
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