September 11, 2001 — The World Trade Centre is destroyed in a terrorist attack

It is the defining moment of the modern era. If you were old enough to remember it at the time, then you remember how you heard it, remember the image of the plane hitting the second building, remember it all.

Four separate planes were hijacked by terrorists belonging to Al Qaeda. One was brought down by the passengers when they realised what it was supposed to do. The other three were rammed into buildings – one into the Pentagon, one into each of the two towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City. Nearly 3000 people were killed in the attacks, and more died in the aftermath, killed trying to rescue others.

The reaction was one of shock, grief and anger. Within weeks, the world was plunged into war, first in Afghanistan, then in Iraq – a state from which it is yet to emerge.

September 20, 2001 — George W. Bush announces the War on Terror

Nine days after the 9/11 attacks, George Bush gave his country what so very many of them were crying out for: a rallying cry, a cause and an outlet for vengeful bloodlust. The War on Terror – which has, nine years on, failed to achieve almost any of its stated goals (but which conspiracy theorists allege has achieved a number of its unstated goals) – has cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives.

President George W. Bush addresses the media at the Pentagon on Sept. 17, 2001.jpg
By R. D. Ward – This Image was released by the United States Department of Defense with the ID 010917-D-9880W-034 (next).
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As mentioned in:

Self-Evident — Ani Di Franco