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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What little details about life do you remember before the vile, murderous terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, that were changed forever?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (30384points) May 2nd, 2011

I remember when taking a flight somewhere was like getting on the bus. That changed irrevocably with newly implemented security measures.

I have lived and traveled extensively overseas and began to curb my ideas about where it would be safe to go.

Perhaps most importantly, I remember as an American feeling a subconscious sense of safety due to our distance from so many other places on the globe. For the first time, the battle was brought directly to our shores.

What little things in your life changed as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001?

How did your life change?

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30 Answers

Brian1946's avatar

The last air trip I took before 9/11/01 was to Lima, Peru with my wife in April, 2001.

The main things that I worried about were all the lightning bolts that I could see out my window.

klutzaroo's avatar

“For the first time, the battle was brought directly to our shores.”

Does Pearl Harbor not count?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@klutzaroo : Pearl Harbor was a far away military installation, and Hawaii was only a territory at the time. It was not a state.

rooeytoo's avatar

When I lived in NYC I frequently had occasion to go to the Twin Towers, now the skyline looks so different.

As you said flying isn’t much fun anymore. I hate plastic cutlery.

And just that feeling of not worrying. The USA is not the only country that has been targeted, no city seems safe anymore really.

Cruiser's avatar

I remember it was safe to fly until that fateful moment Sept. 11th 2001 at 8:15 am when the Captain made this announcement…

“Due to terrorist activities we have been ordered to land at the nearest airport. Please prepare to land.”

snowberry's avatar

I had my own private 9–11 many years ago.When the attacks occurred, I was bemused at the outraged reaction of so many. It was as if they thought our country were invulnerable. The wake-up call was a long time in coming, and I’m surprised it did not happen earlier. Everyone is entitled to their emotions and opinions. I just did not identify with all the upset.

dabbler's avatar

We didn’t previously, in the US, see military with automatic weapons stationed at all our big airports.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@hawaii_jake….Great question!

I also used to travel extensively…and it was pleasurable . I remember going to Oz one time and taking overstuffed bags and extra baggage and not being charged (at all) and having all my bags put on board with no fuss.

I agree that living in the US (or anywhere else really) felt safer…because the “enemy” could be identified. Now, there are no delineations. What it has done, however, is made us a lot more suspicious and has divided us as a people…which has not been good.

I remember (this is post-9–11) travelling abroad two weeks after 9–11 and going into Heathrow….and there was no one in the passport queue. Just me. That was eerie.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

People were not as racist towards Muslims.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I remember flying before 9/11.

I remember living in peace time, an experience my son has yet to have since we’ve been “at war” the whole time he’s been alive.

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JLeslie's avatar

No little things changed in my life, not the type of things you are talking about. Flying for me became annoying when the liquids rule changed, and that was not 9/11, I think it was after the shoe bomber.

JLeslie's avatar

@klutzaroo @hawaii_jake Pearl Harbor does count. So does the previous attack on the trade center, and the US ship off of Yemen, and the bomb exploding outside of the US embassy in Yemen, and the many other terrorist acts around the world.

JLeslie's avatar

Sorry, but this is one of my pet peeves. If people took all terrorist acts against America as seriosly as 9/11, maybe no one in the second tower would have died.

chocolatechip's avatar

@JLeslie Pearl Harbor was not a terrorist attack…

JLeslie's avatar

@chocolatechip Fine, an act of war. Still. Even Hitler counts in Americans needing to know that there are people througout history who are hateful murderous people, who will kill hundreds, thousands, even millions. Most Germans never would have guessed a man can line people up, shoot them and then burn them, some still alive, in a ditch. Germany, a civilized, democratic country before that idiot came to power, where Jews were an integral part of all levels of society. These are all lessons that America should be humble, and aware. But, I digress. I have gone off track from the original Q.

diavolobella's avatar

@chocolatechip It kind of was, because after all, the Japanese failed to declare war until AFTER they bombed Pearl Harbor due to a delay by their ambassador in notifying the President.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m curious how old Jellies were when the terrorist attack on Sept. 11 happened. I realize many who post on this forum are very young now and I’m just wondering how old they were when on that day.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham I was 33. My sister lived in lower Manhattan and called me every day for days crying from the streets. She was tortured covering for otjer nurses who could not make it i to Manhattan, and she had to walk everywhere with public transportation down. She did at home health care at the time. And, a coworker of mine lost his brother that day. His brother was in the others for a meeting, he did not regularly work there.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@bkcunningham I was 20 on that day.

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tinyfaery's avatar

I remember an America that wasn’t full of reactionary bigots using rhetoric to advance a dubious agenda.

Brian1946's avatar


I was 54 on that day.

zenvelo's avatar

The little detail I remember was that you could go through airport security to see people off at the gate, or to wait for them to get off the plane. Look at the re-runs of Seinfeld or Friends and the many episodes at airports.

Can you even imagine Kramer coming up the baggage conveyor belt these days?

dxs's avatar

I thought at first the question was something like what you were doing when you heard the news. I was in first grade learning math. I don’t really know what it was like before that since it was only 1st grade, sorry

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I used to think that our country was great, strong, impenetrable. I could hardly believe that some rinky-dink group of yahoos could implement such a hair-brained plot and actually get away with it. I thought our government was smarter than that. I thought we would at least be mad enough to go blow them off the map. But of course not – our government doesn’t want to offend anyone! Now I think our government is either dumb as a post or our worst enemy (I can’t decide which), but they certainly seem to not be able to control anything, regulate anything, or protect us at all.

meiosis's avatar

It had no effect on my life. Not much really changed here in the UK. We had terrorism before (and all the attendant security), we’ll have it again.

The only real change was seeing the what moral authority the USA had taking a massive dent in the immediate aftermath with regard to torture at Guantanemo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib.

bkcunningham's avatar

We Americans, young and old(er) were all changed in a way. Whether it was by the loss of someone we knew like in @JLeslie‘s case, or a teacher who prayed with us. For some of us, the world changed when we were in our reckless teens and some in our marriage -and-baby thinking 20s and 30s. Some were older and saw a new fear in our future for our children and grandchildren. Regardless, it happened and we experience pure hate and evil. Now we have to go on and make the world a better place. I hope we can all learn to work together and keep America strong and a place where we can live free and dream.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham What was remarkable to me was there were so many people who always felt totally safe before then. I guess maybe growing up Jewish I have a different perspective. I assume black people also understand people can hate you and want to kill you, just for being born. Even if we never experienced it in our lifetimes, just knowing fairly recent history growing up was enough. With 9/11 the average American now understood what it was like to be hated just for living and going about ones business.

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