My 15 year old daughter was given an assignment from her business teacher on Friday to find positive impacts and results of the September 11 terrorism attacks. The other half of the task was the negative impacts and that was incredibly easy to pull together.
The state of fear and mistrust of our neighbours! The lost lives, the lost jobs, the lost businesses, the huge impact on tourism and airlines! The 3 trillion dollars spent on the war that resulted, the soldiers lost in the war, The impact on families losing fathers, mothers, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents. The impact on friends losing each other. The Post traumatic stress disorder results for first responders, the cancer results for first responders who inhaled massive amounts of poison chemicals while trying to find bodies that had disintegrated in the colllapse of the WTC. The heavy tole of being a survivor of this tragedy.
This list could go on and on!!
How on earth do you find positives in that mess?
The obvious ones were highlighted over the weekend in interviews with survivors. There was a huge sense of unity in families, cities, states, provinces, countries, continents and across the world with our allies. All political , religious, racism issues were put aside for at least a week as everyone felt relief at being alive, and empathizing with the families of those victims.
Sadly we all know that did not last, families started fighting again, politicians started arguing about war, religion was blamed for the attack and the world started looking at muslims differently. It was devastating finding out that these radicals had immersed themselves into communities. They were soccer coaches, they were business people. You would never have suspected them in your day to day life. So when my family went out for dinner I couldn’t help but look at a dinner table of muslims and feel fear. I was so ashamed of myself as I had never considered myself racist. Thankfully that did not last either. As I came to my senses I remembered friends I had that were muslims and I realized correctly that this was only a small group of extreme radicals and i could not live my life in fear.
My daughter found a benefit of companies that make war weapons and supplies. Clearly the financial impact of this tragedy was a winfall for them.
Also Security guards, systems, disaster recovery companies would have benefited from the fear instilled in the general population.
Airport scanners, security testing, passport agencies all benefitted from the extra need to secure people in their travels from country to country.
Rudy Guiliani certainly became a hero. George Bush was also given a short term increase in popularity. How often can we say that for a politician!
Did anyone else hear that 20,000 people escaped the WTC on 9/11. First responders made that happen. But all we hear is that over 3000 people died. The fact that 20,000 people escaped is to be celebrated while we mourn the loss of 3000. I wish that had been more reported on! First responders felt so deflated after not being able to rescue more than a handful of people in the rubble of the WTC. If they had been reminded of the 20,000 that they saved on 9/11 maybe fewer of them would be dealing with depression and having to quit their jobs due to the memories and pain.
Rebuilding the area of the WTC also has incredible results. While there were so many businesses lost and the financial sector was the key tenant in the area, the report today is that there are DOUBLE the number of businesses in the area and they are diverse and varied to represent all types of businesses today.
Can we ever forget that day for its negative impacts? Probably not, but it was a worthwhile exercise to look for the positive!
I hope you can find something in this list to make you think about this a bit differently. Can we celebrate the 20,000 survivors on a day of there own too?