September 11 Attacks, series of coordinated suicide attacks on the United States that will forever stand as a lesson to the entire world about how we view religion, or rather how we view religions specific to the Middle East, or perhaps as a lesson that has nothing to do with those things and instead was related to homeland security. Planned and carried out by the militant Islamic group al-Qaeda, the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93 conveyed a deep, universal truth to every living human being about the difference between those who are free and those who are oppressed. There was also a lesson about oil consumption. And certainly also about religious fanaticism. Or was it evil? Was the lesson of 9/11 something about evil? Evildoers? Or was it about torture and the balance between security and freedom? Or are those last two lessons learned in the aftermath of 9/11 as opposed to the main lesson of 9/11, which was about encouraging tolerance and discourse? It may, in retrospect, have actually been a lesson about civil liberties and the media. Hmm. Anyway, the lesson learned from September 11 was definitely the biggest lesson the world has ever learned.
AFTERMATH OF SEPTEMBER 11
Pre-9/11: Use of extreme pain to extract information from a third party. As a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, the United States does not torture.
Post-9/11: Use of extreme pain to extract information from a third party. As a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, the United States does not officially torture.
Pre-9/11: Not sure what it is, but sounds like fun.
Post-9/11: Know what it is. Not fun.
“LET ’S ROLL ”
Pre-9/11: Stupid phrase uttered while jingling car keys to encourage friends to move asses.
Post-9/11: Stupid patriotic phrase uttered as a battle cry by high school football teams before taking on local rival.
KID KICKING THE BACK OF YOUR CHAIR DURING FLIGHT
Pre-9/11: Cute child excited about going to Disney World.
Post-9/11: The terrorists are making their move.
Pre-9/11: The largest coordinated attack on American soil.
Post-9/11: Something to put the word “since” before.
KEN GRIFFEY, JR.
Pre-9/11: An amazing player who could run, throw, cover a ton of ground in the outfield, and hit for both power and average.
Post-9/11: Definitely past his prime, but he could still hit the long ball and sometimes showed flashes of his former brilliance in center.
FLYING JET AIRCRAFT INTO SKYSCRAPERS
Pre-9/11: Most exciting thing one can possibly do in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Post-9/11: Horrific image that can never be erased from your mind.
THE U.S. OCCUPATION OF IRAQ
Pre-9/11: An idea thought up by the Project for a New American Century in 1997, based on ideas by Dick Cheney from 1992.
Post-9/11: An emergency response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.