In the adult life of the author, if one were to judge what the five greatest American tragedies have been, whether man made or natural disasters, they would be the following in ranked order:
1. September 11, 2001–The worst tragedy in American history as 3,000 Americans were killed at the World Trade Center in New York City, along with deaths at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and the bringing down of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, preventing the possible attack on and destruction of the US Capitol Building or the White House in Washington, DC by Muslim terrorists.
2. Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005 and the days after, which caused the flooding of New Orleans, coastal Mississippi, and the death of more than 1,300 people , with a very slow response by federal, state and local officials.
3. The truck bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh on April 19, 1995, causing the death of about 168 people, and the wounding of 680 other victims, the greatest terrorist act on American soil until September 11, 2001.
4. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.
5. The killing of seven astronauts in the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster on January 28, 1986, including the first teacher to go into space, Christa McAuliffe.
This list could be much longer, as we have experienced other disasters, but these five will always be remembered as the top of the list of tragedies!