September 11, 2021
Twenty years ago today, evil attacked America. A total of 2,977 people were killed when nineteen terrorists hijacked four fuel-loaded US commercial airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and the ground outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The victims ranged in age from two to 85 years.
On that day, the whole country experienced pain, shock, fear, and anger.
On that day, many American heroes gave up their lives in order to save others: 403 killed were New York City firefighters, New York City police officers and officers at the Port Authority. Among the lost lives there were 40 passengers and crew members aboard United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It is believed that the terrorists hijacked this airplane with the intent to crash into the U.S. Capitol Building but their plan was thwarted by the passengers’ and crew’s attempt to retake control of the flight deck through a truly heroic action.
On that day, we also experienced the strong unity of Americans. There were no more differences of skin colors, ethnicities, religions, ideologies, or political parties. Americans were United with a single resolve and demonstrated a common unshakable strength to fight evil. Americans showed the world — that when standing together, hand in hand, we could overcome any difficulties and challenges to defeat any enemies who intend to harm civilian lives, properties, freedom, and civilization.
Twenty years later, as we commemorate all the victims and heroes who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, we continue to be deeply touched and inspired by all the heroism, unity, love, strength, and determination demonstrated so strongly two decades ago. And we call for the same unity, love, and compassion among all Americans today to promote equality, diversity, freedom, peace, and justice for all.
Asian American Scholar Forum