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Significant days in world history are like turning points of fate people remember them for years and even decades later telling each other over and over again where they were and what they were doing and thinking at a specific moment in time Those who turned on their television on the morning of September 11 around 9 AM Eastern time and saw United Flight 175 crash into the South Tower of the World Trade Center--the North of which was already burning from the explosion caused by American Airlines Flight 11--and who later saw both towers collapse will never forget those images People will still be talking about September 11 at this centurys end What they will say will of course be determined by what happens in the intervening years It may be that September 11 2001 will be seen as no more significant than the night of April 15 1912 when the Titanic sank How good that would be It may be that September 11 will enter history as the day mankind first began to learn how the nations of the world could eliminate the sources of terror That would be even better It may be that September 11 will be seen as the beginning of a long and increasingly violent battle between irreconcilable forces That would be historys most terrible judgement Nothing will ever be the same--these words were repeated everywhere after September 11 so widely that they lost meaning In fact much is the same as it was before the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon Yet a great deal of what we knew or assumed before the attack is no longer of much use And those unaware of what they dont know are useful tools to terrorists Terrorists want to spread fear through violence and thus to force us to think about things we havent thought about In this the September 11 hijackers have succeeded we now think about
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