On the 11th of September 2001, two planes bore their way through America's Twin Towers. Now, on the 15th anniversary of the attacks, people are sharing their experiences of how that day changed their lives forever
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since 9/11. But while millions of people across the world took a moment yesterday to remember the 2,997 victims of the largest terrorist attack in American history, it’s important to acknowledge the ways that society changed after that day, too – and the people who are still suffering.
Which is why the hashtag #AfterSeptember11 is so powerful. Since the 15th anniversary this weekend, over 50,000 tweets have been shared – many of which were written by women who were children when the attacks occurred and can barely remember the day itself, but whose lives have been overshadowed by its repercussions ever since.
In the 12 months following September 11 2001, Islamophobic attacks in America increased by 1700 per cent. Muslim men, women and children were subjected to unprecedented levels of racism and prejudice – invariably because of the colour of their skin, or whether or not they chose to cover their hair.
The hashtag was created by political science student Jessica Talwar, 19, who’s based in Los Angeles.
‘America needs to recognize that the trauma and repercussions of these attacks were not confined to the day of September 11, 2001 itself,’ she explained. ‘Desis, Arabs, and Muslims have felt the impact of this day for 14 years.’
‘This movement was not intended to belittle the tragic events of September 11 itself,’ she clarified – adding that when she told her dad that she’d started the hashtag, he was worried that she’d experience more Islamophobia too. ‘Be smart. Not loud,’ he advised her over text.
‘Well, my response to him is, why not smart and loud?,’ she replied.
Read some of the most powerful #AfterSeptember11 tweets below:
#AfterSeptember11 my great grandfather was murdered walking to a mosque as he was going to pray for the family members he lost…
#AfterSeptember11 Seeing my dad get held at gun point in a 7/11 because he has a beard and curly hair.
#AfterSeptember11 my principle pulled me out of class to ask if I knew the men who’d flown the planes. I was in 4th grade.
#AfterSeptember11 my elementary school principal threatened to suspend me everyday until I stopped wearing my scarf to school.
#AfterSeptember11 my dad was beaten and taken into FBI custody for questioning because his name was Mohammed and worked in Manhattan.
#AfterSeptember11 i started getting used to the word “random search” being said as I stepped to the front of airport security