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Attacks on America head list of decade's top stories



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January 05, 2011 | 07:15 AM
The decade is over.

Throughout this edition of the Regional News, we have taken a look back at some of the intriguing, long-lasting, tragic and exciting stories from the past decade.

However, just like always, our focus was local.

The past decade also provided some of the most important stories nationally and internationally. I would be remiss to not mention a few of them.

Of course, one of the most tragic and life changing events in the history of our country occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. It is a date none of us will ever forget.

I remember that day because it was a Tuesday deadline day. We were all in the office early that morning at the Regional News. Later, some people in the office were receiving phone calls about what was happening in New York and Washington, D.C.

At that time, the Internet wasn't anything like it is today. We had no television or radio in the office. All we could do is take the word of the people who were calling us and providing updates. I continued to focus on work the rest of the day, thinking that maybe it wasn't as bad as people were saying.

When I finally got home later that evening, of course, every television station was playing the video of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It wasn't long before they were also talking about happened with the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, which apparently was heading toward the White House.

So, about 12 hours after it started, I watched as the video of the second plane flying directly into one of the World Trade Center towers. Thinking about it still gives me goose bumps and shivers just like it did that night. It was a day that changed this country. For some it was a reminder of what freedom really is and how jealous other people are of our nation and our successes. For others, it was a wake-up call that even in our own country, there are dangers we don't know about.

Since 9-11, some things have changed in this country. Obviously, it has made people such as Osama Bin Laden notorious. It also has made us aware of terrorism and what happens in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Many things also have changed regarding security at airports and the airline industry.

The last few years of the decade also have been eventful.

The national and world economic downturn, some have called a Depression, has resulted in nearly a 10-percent unemployment rate in the United States.

That is a number not seen in many years here.

The housing bubble burst first, then the stock market and unemployment followed. Although some of this economic downturn has steadied, it is likely to affect the United States and the world as we head into the next decade.

The national deficit and debt are both problems that must be faced head on. Part of those problems stem from the economic concerns and the entitlements we have promised to this nation's people.

In November 2007, another historic event occurred. This country elected its first black president. Barack Obama became president in January 2008. He proceeded to lead the way as some of the most historic legislation ever was signed into law — health care reform.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans and last year's oil spill in the gulf capped off a tough decade for that area of the country.

Those are just some of the stories of the decade off the top of my head.

It will be interesting to see nationally what the next decade has in store for us.

Happy new decade everyone.

Seiser is the editor of the Regional News.

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