Freedom in America After 9/11-The Impact of the Tenth Anniversary on Society, Soldiers, and Survivors

never-forget-gayle-hall “America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact – the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality.” – Adlai Stevenson.

Ten years have passed since the attacks against the United States of America on that dreadful day of September 11, 2001. When the first tower of the World Trade Center was hit by the jet, my son-in law called me and said, “Gayle, turn on the news, you have to see this.” I thought he was playing a practical joke on me, because he often did that. I was getting ready for work, but walked into my bedroom and did turn on my television just in time to witness another suicide jet as it was forced to crash into the second tower.

I stood there in horror. Wait a minute—wasn't this the land of the free? Aren't we supposed to be guaranteed freedom by living in America? My leading thought with the first jet was that there had been a terrible error and how could that have happened. I quickly realized after the second jet that this was no blunder on anyone's part. America was under attack!

Within minutes our airwaves were taken over. Flights were frozen in mid-air. As we all know, the third jet was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon. Children were killed who were in the day-care facility on site. The fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93, was overtaken by brave passengers and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 Americans were killed on this one horrific day. I cried, prayed, and begged God to help these families. I felt helpless.

What is the psychological impact for the families of those victims who perished on 9/11, ten years ago? What is the meaning of freedom to those of us who live in the United States and what does freedom really mean? Have you thought about this, since that horrendous day ten years ago, on 9/11?

A flashbulb memory, a psychological impact, has been forever planted in my mind from that day and my guess is that one has been planted in yours also. You likely remember where you were, what you were doing, and exactly what you thought when you first heard the news of the al-Qaeda terrorists attacks. This memory will not fade. It is just there and on 9/11, you will relive those memories over and over again. Please pray for the families of all of the victims of 9/11.

Do not forget about the heroes that day. When I have visited New York, I have come back home and had others ask me what I thought of NYC and each time I tell them the same thing, “I love New York.” On that day, the entire city became heroes. People who did not know each other were helping. In case you have never visited, it is difficult to drive in NYC and even difficult at times, to hail a cab. The traffic parted, so the emergency vehicles could get through. I personally have never witnessed anything like this before. As everyone was trying to run out of the buildings, firefighters and first-responders were running in to save people trapped in the towers. Did you know that 343 firefighters lost their lives that day trying to save others? There were so many heroes. The loss of lives could have been so much greater.

As a result of that day, 9/11, George Bush, Jr., sent our men and women to war. I remember, just like you do, the look on our President's face as he sat reading a storybook to children, paused for a moment to receive the news of the suicide bombing of the twin towers, and then continuing with his reading. Our soldiers were sent first to Iraq, then to Afghanistan, and now some are being brought back home.

My own son-in-law has done two tours in Iraq and is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. Obama is stating he is pulling out the troops…yet more soldiers are still going over. I personally know of one soldier whose father died while he was serving in Afghanistan. He was given time off to get home for his father's funeral, sent back to Afghanistan to serve out his last ten days of service, and is now back with his family. The cost of war is driving me insane.

When is enough going to be enough? Freedom is not free, that is certain. I was so angry that our nation, the greatest nation on this earth, could be attacked, that I supported war, I supported us going overseas, I supported everything the government was telling us we should do. Nevertheless, what I have discovered, as I have become more educated through self-discovery and reading, is that our government does not provide us with direct information. So much is kept from us intentionally. Lack of honesty, lack of integrity, lack of commitment from elected officials, and lack of straightforward communication from the press is dead wrong and it is driving me insane.

Is this war we have been fighting really about what happened on 9/11, or did our government use that as an excuse to go to war? Is this war about oil, freedom for other countries, or what? What is this war about? My own thoughts will be kept as my own.

I am so very proud to be an American and have traveled extensively to other countries who do not live without fear of being under attack. My freedom means so much to me. Be sure to see the vlog I made regarding “Freedom” – it is now posted on my website, as well as on YouTube.

Freedom never comes without a price. Freedom is not a right, it is a privilege. I would love to know your thoughts, and especially love to hear the thoughts from our soldiers and Veterans.

God bless America.

This article is fondly dedicated to our military personnel and to all of those who gave their service, lives, and to the families affected on 9/11/2001. God bless you.

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD. All rights reserved worldwide. None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

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  1. Dr. Gayle J. Hall says

    Dear Readers:

    I have always been and will always continue to be a proud American citizen. My flag will be proudly flying on my home on 9/ll, as it is on every other day I find fitting. Will you be displaying the American flag on 9/11 and if so, why or why not?

    The psychological impact of this traumatic event has caused much harm to so many lives. When President Obama wanted to have a photo session of the new Air Force One, the plane soared too closely near some of the tallest buildings,along with fighter jets, and frightened people who were in those buildings. Reports later confirmed, in scholarly journals, that counseling sessions were being conducted at that exact moment with some of the people who had lived through the terror of 9/ll/2001. When Air Force One did the fly-by, combined with the fighter jets, this threw the folks in their group counseling session into extreme panic and trauma. They felt as though they were being attacked all over again.

    We must be cognizant of the effects of trauma in any situation, but especially one of being attacked, whether that be in our own homes,in the work place, or on foreign soil.

    God bless the survivors from 9/ll and their families. My heart still cries for those who lost their loved ones that horrendous day. Did you know that 343 brave firefighters also gave their lives trying to save people from the burning towers? There were so many heroes…and so many American lives were lost.

    Dear God, please continue to bless and keep our soldiers safe as they do what they must do in Iraq, Afghanistan, and all over the world for us, as American citizens. Just today, I received a telephone call from Chris, an American Army Soldier, serving in Afghanistan. This was a beautiful and pleasant surprise. Chris is a former college student of mine from years ago. Bless him, and keep him safe. Amen.

    Please check out my vlog about Freedom by clicking on the title. It is here on my website.

    Shining my love into your world,
    Dr. Gayle J. Hall