While over 20 years have passed since September 11, 2001, we still carry on the memories of the 3000 souls that were lost. It was a day that shook our nation and will forever be remembered and commemorated. With the heart-wrenching stories and memories, though, come the countless outrageous conspiracy theories about the “true story” of what occurred on that fateful day.
The 9/11 Truth movement is a popular crusade describing just one of the various groups of theorists disputing the common consensus; 19 Al Qaeda terrorists, in a coordinated suicide attack against the United States, hijacked four planes and sent them flying into the Twin Towers, The Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In particular, the Truth movement is solely focused on condemning the US Government for either organizing the attacks or allowing them to occur. WIth adherents representing all parts of the political scale, the Truth movement believes that the attacks were carried out to justify the US presence in Afghanistan and to act as a catalyst for the looming war.
“Truthers” further challenge the integrity of the attack sites, by insisting that it wasn’t the planes that produced the damage, but a bomb. Theorists demand that due to the way the towers fell, they had to have imploded. However, an investigation done by The National Institute of Standards and Technology found that the free fall of the towers came from the combination of the impact and the extreme multi-floor fires that warped the steel structures, disproving the doubters. Nonetheless, a wide range of hypotheses about the structural damage remains, and completely distracts from the disaster that transpired.
Other theories that continue to prevail are those that leave Jewish people and Israel to blame for the attacks. According to CBS news a very popular belief in the Middle East (43% of Egyptians), and across America, is that Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, warned 4,000 Jewish people to not show up to work on September 11th. Alleging that the Israeli government was aware of the imminent attacks and wanted to protect their people. Reports continued to develop and many even claim that “not a single Jew” was killed in 9/11, although quickly debunked as roughly 450 Jewish identifying people died. Antisemitic theories and potential Israeli motivations were perpetuated internationally and spread nothing but hate, undermining the mourning and loss that occurred.
While an alarming amount of people worldwide support conspiracies, it is crucial to understand that it is simply for attention. In 2005, three young men named Dylan Avery, Kory Rowe, and Jason Bermas produced a film called “Loose Change”, and posted it on YouTube. The film was based on the 9/11 truth movement and immediately went viral. Viewers found their skepticism of the event entertaining, however, “most of the claims were nonsense” and added no valuable knowledge to the public eye. Over 100 million people watched the independent documentary, and the movement inspired more attempts to claim personal fame for a just fraction of the spotlight.
With modern technology, the theories will never die, but neither will the legacy of the victims. September 11th, 2001 was a monumental day in America’s history, and debating its legitimacy should not distract society from honoring both the victims and those who have made it possible to recover.
“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”