America will never be the same. At 8:45 AM EDT, our country was changed forever by a brilliantly executed and inconceivably cruel terrorist act. As our parents remember Pearl Harbor, VE Day and the day JFK was shot, so my generation will remember the day Space Shuttle Challenger exploded and now September 11, 2001, the day terrorists destroyed New York City's World Trade Center. Four commercial passenger flights were hijacked, apparently by men wielding nothing more than knives. Two were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center which literally disintegrated less than two hours later. The third was crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The fourth went down in rural western Pennsylvania, killing the forty-five souls aboard but sparing God knows how many at its yet-unknown intended target. Was there a hero on the fourth plane, or did the terrorists screw up? We may never know. Meanwhile, the death toll in Washington, D.C., looks like it will approach 300, while in New York 10,000 or more may have died.
I am sickened by what I have seen today. What do the terrorists hope to accomplish? As a political tool, this act will fail, for it will not force the U.S. out of the Middle East. As a feat of arms, it will serve only to increase our vigilance and to rouse us to respond with force. As an act of religious fervor, it is an abomination in God's eyes. It is finally an act of megalomania, an attempt to feed a sick and twisted ego. It has brought incalculable pain and suffering and sorrow to tens of thousands, and it will bring retribution down on the heads of its perpetrators.