“I feel like, even though we are immigrants, but we have been naturalized and become us citizens, so we treat this country as our own country, so US has been attacked, we feel we have been attacked. So even at that moment, that time I only had green card and I was not a US citizen, I was really feeling, everybody was unified. And even though different people may have different opinion, overall the immigrant group and the American group who were born here must have the same feeling, because I talked to my neighbors at that time and we basically share the same feeling.”
“I watched the TV live on September 11 event on CNN that day, even at that moment, I thought everybody’s life would be changed. I already mentioned that American history, the course has been changed, but actually everybody’s life was changed by that event too.”
I interviewed my uncle about the most significant event he’s experienced in contemporary American history: September 11 attack in 2001. My uncle came from China to US in early 90s and studied at college for Doctorate, and then stayed here after his graduation. In 2000s my uncle worked and lived in San Diego with his family. The day when September 11 attack took place, it was 6-7am in the morning at West coast and my uncle just woke up. He turned on TV and saw the second plane hit the South Tower.
On the Morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2011, 19 Islamic terrorists hijacked four airplanes that took off from east coast to California. The first one was American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the North Towers of World Trade Centers, and a few minutes later United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower and soon caused the collapse. The third one, American Airlines 77 crashed into the Pentagon in DC and destroyed part of its western side. The passengers in the fourth one, United Airlines 93, already knew about what had happened in New York and tried to fight with the hijackers but their efforts were in vain. UA 93 crashed into a field in PA, whose target was suspected to be White House or Camp David. This terrorist attack caused 2996 casualties and more than 300 firefighters killed in the smoke.
Before September 11 Attack, the US had been actively involved in Middle East issues as a great supporter of Israel and a participant in Persian Gulf War, and thus was regarded as an enemy by many Arab countries. Immediately as the attack happened, it’s suspected that this attack was conducted by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda and that the mastermind behind this operation was Osama bin Laden, who denied first but admitted his involvement later in 2004. Right after this event President G. W. Bush launched the War on Terror that united all America’s allies around the world and won the support of many other countries who weren’t America’s friends before.
This was the first time when American Mainland was attacked by a foreign force. In the succeeding decade many Americans, especially New Yorkers, still felt that fear every day and the call for peace was getting louder and louder.