2001- our Mom had a massive stroke on September 10 - two days after open heart surgery, so the family was up all night long, sobbing, holding each other, and waiting to see if she would get through it. Early on 9/11 after staying up all night, I drove home totally drained and exhausted. I came in and collapsed, turning on the TV to relax for a minute. Within minutes, a masterfully executed attack on America. Riveted to unimaginable images and media coverage of an event that forever changed America, the military, and the world economy.
Later, after months of therapy, mom asked me about that day, wondering in her now child-like way, "Did something bad happen? Was there a very bad man?". Although the stroke was massive and she appeared to be a blank slate, those terrible events were recorded in her memory from the tiny hospital room TV and resurfaced that day, months later. I carefully explained what had happened and she began to cry. It was incredible.
We were suckered into Bin Laden's plan for the next decade, perhaps even adding some terrible diversions such as attacking Iraq, a Wall Street engineered financial meltdown, a real estate bust. Her memory slowly came back but she was often confused (as were many Americans).
Bin Laden attacked the financial and military centers of America. A decade later we are still suffering to return to what we considered "normal" and craft a new future. Mom passed away last summer. The wars continue.