11th September – A day that changed the United States of America

Sono ormai 15 anni che la data di oggi ha un significato particolare per tutti noi. L’11 settembre 2001 siamo stati testimoni di una tragedia terribile che ha cambiato il mondo intero. Ricordiamo e ricostruiamo quello che è successo con questo testo.

During the early morning of September, 11 2001 the Unites States of America was attacked by a group of radical terrorists.  This date marks the first time the United States had been attacked on its own soil, since World War II.  This attack changed the United States socially, politically, and culturally.  These attacks changed diplomacy between the United States and the rest of the world.  September 11 was a major event in the history of the United States.  

On the morning of September 11 four airplanes were hijacked by a group of nineteen terrorists.  These flights were intended to go to Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Instead they were taken over and used as weapons by terrorists.  Two of these planes struck the World Trade Center buildings in New York City.  One was crashed into the Pentagon in Washington D.C.  And one of the planes never reached its target.  The target of the last plane is unknown.  United States officials claim that it was most likely The White House or the Capitol.  On the last plane, the passengers attempted to take back control of the plane.  The passengers almost succeeded.  When the hijackers realized they could not keep control of the plane, they crashed it.  This plane was crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  

The World Trade Center was a collection of seven buildings in the island of Manhattan in New York City.  These buildings were a major center of international trade and commerce.  Much of this area was destroyed during the attacks on September 11.  The two buildings that were targeted were the North and South tower of the World Trade Center.  These two buildings were known as the “Twin Towers”.  Shortly before nine o’clock in the morning one of the hijacked planes was crashed into the North Tower.  Minutes later, another one of the planes hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center.  New York City police and firefighters rushed to the tower to try and help those inside.  There were also dozens of civilians who had gathered around the site.  Many did not know what was happening.  Almost an hour later the towers collapse.  Many who were on the street were killed. Many of the surrounding buildings were heavily damaged or destroyed.  The damage that was done to New York City was beyond belief.  The number of people lost was tremendous.  This site became known by officials as “Ground Zero”. 

After the attacks there was a great amount of sympathy for the cities attacked.  This sympathy was felt in the United States and around the world.  Many memorials were held at the site of the attacks and in other areas.  Much of this sympathy was directed to New York City which had suffered the most damage.  Parts of Manhattan around Ground Zero were covered with pictures of people who had died in the attacks.  There was uncertainty and remorse felt by New Yorkers.  But there was also a sense of unity.  New York City often has a reputation for being an unfriendly place.  After the September,11 attacks there were dozens of stories about how the people of New York City were assisting each other in this time of need.  Families of the victims were helping each other.  

It was unclear at first what would be done with the site of the former World Trade Center.  In June of 2002 former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani and former governor George Pataki decided that they would rebuild the World Trade Center.  Together they formed the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC).  City Rudy Giuliani said “We will rebuild. We’re going to come out of this stronger than before, politically stronger, economically stronger. The skyline will be made whole again” in response to the attacks.


to be attacked by – essere attaccati da
radical terrorist – terrorista radicale
to mark – segnare
soil – suolo territorio
attack – attacco
socially – socialmente
politically – politicamente
culturally – culturalmente
major – maggiore, massimo
to be hijacked by – essere dirottato da
flight – volo
to intend to – avere l’intenzione di, avere il programma di fare qualcosa
instead – invece di
to be taken over – prendere il controllo di qualcosa
to strike, struck, struck – colpire qualcosa
to crash – scontrarsi
target – obiettivo, bersaglio
unknown – sconosciuto
to claim – affermare, sostenere
to attempt to – tentare di, cercare di fare qualcosa
almost – quasi
to succeed – avere successo nel fare qualcosa
hijacker – dirottatore
to realize – capire, realizzare
to keep control of – prendere il controllo di qualcosa
international trade – scambio commerciale internazionale
commerce – comercio
to be destroyed – essere distrutto
to be targeted – essere l’obiettivo di
to rush – precipitarsi
dozen – dozzina
civilian – civile
to gather around – radunarsi attorno
to happen – succedere, accadere
surrounding – dintorni
heavily damaged – pesantemente danneggiato
beyond belief – oltre ogni immaginazione
tremendous – tremendo, terribile
sympathy – compassione
memorial – memoriale
to suffer – soffrire
uncertainty – incertezza
remorse – rimorso
reputation for – reputazione di
to assist – aiutarsi reciprocamente
unclear – non chiaro
former – precedente
mayor – sindaco
governor – governatore


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