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I think that the images of 9.11 ended up holding a powerful grip on what it means to be a part of America. One such image is the overall fear of skyscrapers. The Willis Tower in Chicago, for example, is a building that has not gained full capacity, in part due to the images of 9.11 seared into the national consciousness. The TSA is an organization that grew out of 9.11. The image of airplanes being vulnerable has spawned an industry of full body scanning, long lines, and natural infringements on one's own personal liberty in the name of safety. The image of a low flying plane now immediately conjures the iconic picture of the North Tower being hit an hour after the first one. The image of the firefighter and the police officer, both running into the building while others escape it has become a permanent part of the national consciousness. An entire generation of children live with the post- 9.11 world. In the end, the images of 9.11 have constructed a social reality from which there is no escape, recognizing both our saddest of moments and most heroic of triumphs.
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