|Today, 19 years ago, multiple terrorist attacks killed nearly three thousand people in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC, and caused billions of dollars worth of damage resulting in an enormously expensive re-building and a $6 trillion war that resulted in thousands more lost lives. This horrific event triggered enormous changes around the globe. Here are some observations. |
1. The Pentagon in Washington DC was fully restored and repaired. In Manhattan it's difficult to believe this horrific event happened almost two decades ago......but it's so invigorating to see what has happened since then. The Lower Manhattan Renaissance is a sight to behold: Multiple towers and a museum and memorial have been built, including a sensational Santiago-Calatrava designed World trade Center transportation hub that has become an instantly recognizable and unique New York attraction. Today Lower Manhattan's population has almost tripled to 62,000. and the number of residential housing units has spiraled past 30,000 units.
2. The economy did not stop: US GDP was about $10.5 trillion in 2001: last year it was more than double.
3. Air travel was transformed with a whole host of security measures that have become 'expected' and 'normal' today.
4. Surveillance increased dramatically. Most large cities have security cameras everywhere and new high tech solutions have made cities much safer.
5. The world collectively realized safety and security would always have to be a top priority of governments, cities, towns, villages.
6. The unity in the USA felt directly post-9/11 is something we should all remember and try to re-produce. A united front against adversity is always more effective.
7. We were reminded how important firefighters are in our world. We are reminded of that again now as they battle wildfires in the West.
8. We CAN learn from history if we choose not to forget or ignore realities and data points that provide us clear intelligence and insights.
9. With anything catastrophic, we learn how there are always warning signals before they happen. Responding to those may appear paranoid to some, yet we should weigh the cost of paranoia against the cost of recovery. It's usually a fraction.
If there is one important lesson to be learned from 9/11 it is that we as a human species evolve, learn and adapt. We rebuild and restore. We invent and innovate. At a time like this when so many are unemployed, homeless, sick, grieving and the USA has suffered a truly awful few months, we can look back to 9/11 to be CERTAIN we will recover from this moment and soar well past it.
I know someone well who ran down fifty flights of stairs from the south tower of the World Trade Center and exited the building just as it was crumbling.....he walked home for over an hour covered in dust and debris, bloodied from flying glass. When he arrived home, the phone rang. It was his real estate agent: "I have a full price offer on your apartment!" He responded by saying it was not the best time to speak, hung up and the phones went dead for a week. He re-connected with his agent then and she had another offer over the ask..... Life goes on. It always has and it always will.