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September 11, 2001: Understanding the Present Through the Past


The events of the past live on in everyone’s memories. People often think about them, try to evaluate them, and draw valuable lessons. It is necessary to know a biography to understand a person; it is vital to know the history to understand a country. And to understand the events of today, it is essential to imagine what happened in the past. Scientists talk and write a lot about the importance of experience for making responsible decisions today. Knowledge of history helps one predict the future and makes it possible to know how and why the modern world became the way it is now. It determines attitudes toward many aspects that are important in each person’s life. History teaches how to treat time rationally, to analyze complex situations with multiple circumstances.

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The Importance of Learning History

The study of history provides an invaluable experience with the past that helps anyone understand the world today. People who study historical events of different kinds and times become more aware of those around them and themselves. The process of learning about the past is necessary for everyone because history has often amazed humanity in its unpredictability. Some events tend to repeat to this day but in a modified form. Other cases provide an opportunity to draw conclusions and reconsider people’s views and values. History shows that it is impossible to change the past in order to reflect on how the present must be constructed.

Back in History: 9/11

September 11, 2001, was the fateful day in human history. On that day, suicide bombers of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization hijacked four passenger planes in the United States (Garfin et al. 146). Two of them crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, destroying them. Another plane, operated by terrorists, crashed into the west wing of the Department of Defense building in Washington. A fourth passenger airliner, also hijacked by terrorists, went down and crashed near Pittsburgh. That day the whole world froze in front of TV screens broadcasting the catastrophe. This tragedy took the lives of thousands of people, citizens of different countries. The world changed: people became warier, and this wariness then began to penetrate deeply into American society.

The Impact of Negative Consequences on a Person

It is not uncommon for a person to be in a state of emotional strain, experiencing a sense of increased anxiety, worry, experience stress. Not everything in life is subject to control; predicting certain situations and events does not always prove to be correct. Adverse events witnessed by a person often influence their future behavior and attitude toward the world around them. After the terrorist attack and after those before it, many people are subjected to post-traumatic stress disorder. It can be direct participants of events and indirect – those who watched what was happening on TV or the Internet. In general, a person’s emotional state and quality of life depend on how they react to traumatic accidents and in what ways they cope.

Understanding the Present through the Past

At the same time, historical events, disasters, and cataclysms help look at the modern world and one’s life differently. It is especially true for those incidents that are associated with death because it is an essential phenomenon of philosophical comprehension (Hackett 4). For this reason, first, such an event helps to understand not only the modern world but also the feeling of one’s place in it, the meaning of life, and how fleeting it can be. When a person looks at a situation rationally, they have a conscious sense of the present and understand what they want to do in the future.

Another important aspect of studying the history of 9/11 is that one becomes more attentive and interested in the political sphere. Such incidents ensure different areas of life both for the country and each person individually. For this reason, not beginning to take an interest in the information that explains the current situation is a sign of an indifferent attitude toward one’s life. Many people have become apparent that the world political scene is arranged more complex than what is presented within the mainstream of international relations theory. Accordingly, studying historical events of this nature helps a person better understand the mechanics of how the modern world and society work and such fields as economics, politics, and law. People get not only new information but also become more educated and responsible.

Knowledge of historical actions makes one look differently at the people, their behavior, and their identity. Incidents that are large in scale and harmful in one way or another also change the person, the country, the world. History is the memory of every area of culture, of every people, of all humankind. As the history of an individual’s life is embodied in his personality characteristics, the history of all humanity is represented in all the changes of modernity.

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According to modern thinking, history refers to scientific knowledge about past social reality. At the same time, simply studying history, both ancient and recent times, provides an opportunity to know the past, understand the present, and predict the future. It develops a person’s critical thinking, teaches them not to repeat mistakes, and deal with the world around them with caution. Studying events of a negative nature, such as the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, helps one understand the world in which people live today and themselves, their country, and their people. Knowledge in this area provides not only new information but also broadens human horizons in various spheres, making them more responsible, prudent, and aware.

Works Cited

Garfin, Dana Rose, et al. “Aftermath of terror: a Nationwide longitudinal study of posttraumatic stress and worry across the decade following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.” Journal of traumatic stress, vol. 31, no.1, 2018, pp. 146-156.

Hackett, Paul. Psychology and philosophy of abstract art: neuro-aesthetics, perception and comprehension. Springer, 2016.

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