The first month of this Capstone project is over, and now I feel that I must provide my readers with this belated Welcome note. I’ve had a wonderful time at CUNY Online, and writing a final project is a complex task that must encompass all the lessons of the last couple of years into a single and coherent journey of scientific discovery. What better subject than 9/11 to wrap this process? When the towers fell, I was a still newcomer in NYC trying to find something that I could turn into a life’s work. The attacks changed me, the nation, and, especially, the people of New York. How many of us remember the agonizingly slow passing of the time after 8:46 that morning and the ironically picture-perfect cloudless late summer sky turned into black; the smell of burnt wires that reached my home over 120 blocks north of Ground Zero; the indelible images of devastation and death, and vulnerability, along with the sense that we somehow lost our innocence; and, finally, the non-stop spectacle of the events being broadcast live to the world, which seemed to me as a surreal and macabre way to star in one of those grand Hollywood productions that even our age of sophisticated communication had never prepared us for. Here was our wounded city trying to cope with the pain of those we lost while preparing for a future of war and uncertainty.
Ten years have past, and, while some pain subsides, it is also evident that the events of that fateful day and our subsequent actions have transformed the way we view the world, and the world too has changed the way it perceives the US and the role of American society in the history of mankind. Hopefully, our research will lead us to a better understanding of these changes and our place in history, and will help us prepare for a brighter and more peaceful future for our nation and the world.