THE LINK BELOW is a video shot on September 11th from an apartment window facing the Twin Towers. The couple who shot it lived on the 36th floor so they had an overview of the whole event. They didn't release the video to the public until 2005. It's long, but it's an intimate reliving of that day, with sounds of the couples' reaction to events, and the sound of the television news going in the background. The video is entitled simply:
You can also see it here: What We Saw. And here is a compilation of different shots of the attack and the aftermath: World Trade Center.
Watching the video brought the day back vividly. From my perspective today, 9/11 was a day of awakening for me. Until then, I had no interest in Islam. I didn't think it was important. I didn't understand what caused the terrorist attacks that had happened throughout my childhood (in the 1972 Olympics, the hostage crisis, the hijackings, etc.) and if you had asked me to guess at the time, I probably would have thought terrorists were simply fanatics creating random acts of violence for random reasons — to force a government to release prisoners, to get airtime for their cause, to scare people, or whatever.
But 9/11 was so much worse than previous acts of terrorism, and so much closer to home, it woke me up. The attack on the WTC was obviously a well-organized project by a fairly large group of people, using effective long-term planning, all for the purpose of inflicting a huge number of casualties. And my question was, for what?
It was so shocking, I was strongly motivated to understand where it came from, who these people were, and why they were doing this.
What I've learned since then has often surprised me. I had no idea Islamists were such a large group, or so well-funded, or had such an all-compassing goal.
But along with discovering the scope of the problem, I've also discovered that ordinary citizens like me could do something to help defeat it.
I feel I've personally repeated what Americans collectively went through in WWII. When the war in Europe and Japan started, most Americans didn't want to get involved. They wanted to go about their business and they hoped the problem would just go away. But when Pearl Harbor was bombed, everything changed. They realized how significant the problem was, and they fully understood their more trivial concerns would have to be put aside.
The same change of mind has happened to many of us in the West in response to 9/11 and the change of mind has only deepened with subsequent events.
Since that day I have learned a great deal about Islam, and have been encouraging others to do so too. An understanding of the terrifying brilliance of Islam hasn't become as widespread as I had hoped, but more people are becoming aware of Islam's prime directive, and that is encouraging.
I hope you watch the film, What We Saw, share it with your friends, and renew your commitment to finding a solution to the causes that led to 9/11 and the over sixteen thousand terrorist attacks since then.