15 Years After 9-11: Why The Suffering Continues
Politics and Activism

15 Years After 9-11: Why The Suffering Continues

The 2001 attacks have turned into a competition for who has suffered more

15 Years After 9-11: Why The Suffering Continues
Jackie, Monmouth County, NJ

The 15th anniversary of the 2001-9-11 terrorist attacks just passed, and with it came a wide variety of online opinions. I do not want to talk about 9/11—thousands have already said everything I would have to say. Instead, I want to address the variety of comments I have seen regarding the attacks of 15 years ago.

First, and most importantly, suffering is not a competition.

Everyone who was injured or killed in the plane crashes or in or around the World Trade Center and Pentagon obviously suffered. Their friends and families suffered. Nothing can undo what they endured and continue to endure.

Additionally, people across the country and even around the world were profoundly affected by the attacks and what they were intended to symbolize. Obviously that cannot compare to losing a loved one, but that does not mean it is not valid or should be ignored.

Furthermore, to this day, scores of innocent Muslims are attacked or murdered every year because they look like the people who attacked us on 9/11. Even non-Muslims who happen to have head coverings, darker skin, or even just beards, are often attacked for looking too similar to the people who attacked us. Is that suffering inherently more important than the suffering of the people killed in the 9/11 attacks or their families and friends? Not necessarily, but that does not mean it is not valid or should be ignored. No number of dead Muslims is going to undo their suffering. It is just going to cause more suffering, it helps terrorists spread the lie that America hates Muslims. Attacking people for being different in some way is supposed to be their MO, not ours.

Additionally, since the 9/11 attacks, we have started wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we successfully captured or killed Osama bin Laden and several other high value targets. Personally, I would consider that a good thing. But I can approve of stopping the people behind the 9-11 attacks while still recognizing the innocent civilians who suffered because they happened to be born in the wrong place at the wrong time. Preventing terrorist leaders launching future attacks is good, but it is also important to remember that civilian casualties are a part of war, and when we enter into a new war, we know innocent families are going to be torn apart. Is their suffering inherently more important than the suffering of the people killed in the 9-11 attacks or their families and friends? Not necessarily, but that does not mean it is not valid or should be ignored. As anyone affected by the 9-11 attacks can tell you, few things are more terrifying than having your life turned upside-down by a surprise attack from a power an ocean away.

My point is not that we should forget the attacks of 2001-9-11, or that we should stop opposing terrorism. My point is we need to stop arguing about who is suffering more and who needs to pay for it, as though that can accomplish anything. We need to be better than the terrorists who wanted to ignite waves of fear and hate.

Because when I remember 9/11, I remember those dead men are still winning.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

We have all been there. Mindlessly scrolling through social media and then we see that post. We see someone we once saw a future with creating it with someone else. However this time it was really different. A lot of times when we say we are happy for someone we don't really mean it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Samuel Branch on Unsplash

Affirmations affirm beliefs that we are in need of strengthening. They help up to focus on goals that we are striving for or on a powerful part of ourselves that we need a little reminder is within us.

They specifically focus on positive outcomes or belief systems that we're working to solidify, rather than solely focusing action on eradicating something "bad" or "wrong" from your life.

Keep Reading... Show less

About a year ago, I began my own fitness journey. Growing up, I had played soccer and kept busy, but after an injury cut my soccer career short I suddenly became very inactive. It took years of misfires before I finally found a new active passion for weight lifting. Getting started is never easy, and setting up for success is the best plan of action to assist anyone in your life who is thinking about starting their own journey. These are a few items you can gift for the fitness rookie in your life:

Keep Reading... Show less

Nordstrom's Biggest Sale Has The Most Legendary Deals On Luxury Beauty Brands We've Ever Seen

Counting down the days to the Chanel box set gracing my front door.

I oftentimes (excessively) use the excuse of my job as a writer to justify my excessive spending habits.

I needed the new Huda Beauty palette before anyone else in the name of journalistic integrity. It was my job to test out the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance to make sure I could tell people whether or not it was truly worth the splurge (it was).

Keep Reading... Show less

Some people are so good at downplaying their sadness that even they don't realize how much they do it. When you ask them how they are they will always say that they are good, even when they aren't. They exhaust themselves by plastering an energetic and carefree persona in the spaces that you watch them in because at least to you they can control how they appear. They can pretend to be the happy person they want to be when everyone is telling them how funny and bubbly they are all the time.

Keep Reading... Show less

Mental health is not an easy endeavor. It's not a fad. It's not a bandwagon that you can hop on and off of whenever you want to. Your yearly dose of sadness is not depression. I'm not here to define what depression — or anxiety, or any other type of mental health issue looks like — but I will tell you what it's not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Whether it's dealing with a global pandemic or getting fired from your job, the fear of not knowing can become consuming if it isn't controlled. Below are some easy ways to take back control and establish a peace of mind.

Keep Reading... Show less

My South Asian Roots Inspire My Future Career As Both A Scientist And Journalist — Here's How

Being born to culturally diverse parents, I feel like I have the best of both worlds!

Erikka Chowdhury

To all of those who don't know me, I'm an American girl with South Asian parents who have carved their own niche as immigrants in the USA.

Keep Reading... Show less

The beaches are starting to open up. At least in Cape Cod, where my family and I were able to vacation this week. Near our house, we have a bit of a private beach, which is great.

Keep Reading... Show less

I sometimes look back at the days when I had anorexia and think to myself what would have happened if I had taken another bite? Nowadays, I spend days dreading over my figure and wondering if the old sundresses and outfits even fit. I tell myself that they do, but I feel like reality holds a different truth.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments