The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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On 11 September 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North tower of the World Trade Centre in Manhattan, New York. Photo: WIKI/ COMMONS

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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LEFT IMAGE : In the most devastating terrorist attack that the United States had seen, knife-wielding hijackers crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center, toppling its twin 110-story towers. Photo: GETTY/AP Photo/Carmen Taylor

RIGHT IMAGE : United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into South tower of the WTC in Manhattan, New York. Photo: WIKI/COMMONS

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes at 9:03 a.m. on 11 September 2001 in New York City. The crash of two airliners hijacked by terrorists loyal to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden killed about 2,800 people. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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A fiery blasts rocks the World Trade Center after being hit by the two hijacked planes. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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Smoke pours from the twin towers of the World Trade Center after they were hit by the two planes that terrorists had taken over. Photo: Robert Giroux/Getty Images/AFP

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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Pedestrians walking on the Brooklyn Bridge watch as smoke billows from the World Trade Center. Photo: AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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1st FROM LEFT : A person falls to his death from the World Trade Center after two planes hit the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001 in New York City. Photo: Jose Jimenez/Primera Hora/Getty Images/AFP

2nd FROM LEFT : People jump to their deaths after the towers were hit by two planes and engulfed in smoke and flames during the terrorist attack. Photo: David Surowiecki/Getty Images

3rd FROM LEFT : Another man fall to his death from the World Trade Center. Photo: Jose Jimenez/Primera Hora/Getty Images/AFP

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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People walk on the street in the area where the World Trade Center buildings collapsed in September 2001. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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The devastation caused when the World Trade Center Towers collapsed after a terrorist attack on it. Photo: Tammy KLEIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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People run away as the North Tower of World Trade Center collapses after a hijacked airliner hit the building on 11 September 2001 in New York City. Photo: Jose Jimenez/Primera Hora/Getty Images

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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Smoke rises over the New York Skyline from the scene of the World Trade Center Attack, as seen from a tugboat evacuating people from Manhattan to New Jersey. Photo: Hiro Oshima/WireImage

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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This file photo shows Edward Fine covering his mouth as he walks through the debris after the collapse of one of the World Trade Center Towers in New York. Fine was on the 78th floor of the 1st World Trade Center when it was hit by a hijacked plane 11 September. Photo: AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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This 11 September 2001 file photo shows Marcy Borders covered in dust as she takes refuge in an office building after one of the World Trade Center towers collapsed in New York. The woman was caught outside on the street as the cloud of smoke and dust enveloped the area. Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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Civilians flee as a tower of the World Trade Center collapses. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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Terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, United States on 11 September 2001. Photo: Nicholas GOLDBERG/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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The aftermath of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September 2001. Photo: Alex CAMACHO/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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The remains (from bottom to top) of One, Six, and Seven World Trade Center on September 17, 2001 U.S. Photo: Navy photo by Chief Photographer's Mate Eric J. Tilford.

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

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The words "vengance," "I love the US" and an American flag are inscribed on an automobile covered with dust in Lower Manhattan on 13 September 2001 in New York, two days after a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Photo: AFP PHOTO Timothy A. CLARY

TERRORISM

The September that changed the world: why 9/11 still matters

Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB

The bald facts of the 9/11 attacks are seared in our collective memory: 19 men, four planes and an act of terrorism that changed history.

No act of terrorism is bigger or smaller than another. Yet, 9/11 went on to become the most-covered media event of all time.

To some, that's a travesty; the world sees brutality and devastation on large scales daily.

But 9/11 remains something that haunts us in ways that other acts of terrorism often don't. Perhaps it's because New York is, in some ways, the capital of Earth, a city where hope and possibility and achievement and ambition seem to come together in ways the rest of the world aspire to. It's no accident that 57 countries lost citizens in the attack on two buildings: this was a hub of New York life, yes; American life, yes; but also of global life.

An attack that could brutalise New York was an attack that told the world nothing anywhere was safe.

If a plane could fly into the Twin Towers, no building in any city in the world was secure.

And that's why it's important to mark 9/11. To look at these horrific photographs, 14 years later. To remember that an attack that kills innocents anywhere in the world is an attack on us all.

Priyata Brajabasi

Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB