Editor’s Note: This article is from week of September 11, and met an unexpected delay in publication.
It seems only right to begin this year’s History of The Week Column on this particular week with the anniversary of 9/11, an event that has gone down in history for bringing both devastation and improvement to the United States of America.
At 8:45 A.M. flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. This was the beginning of what would later be understood as a terrorist attack planned by Osama Bin Laden.
Eighteen minutes after the first crash came the second; flight 175 flew straight into the 60th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center.
At 9:45 A.M. flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
At 10:10 A.M. flight 93 crashed into an empty field in Pennsylvania, the terrorists intended target was never discovered.
At 10:30 A.M. the second World Trade Center collapsed. 3,000 people died in and around the World Trade Center buildings.
At 9 P.M. George W. Bush addressed the nation.
In all, it took one hour and 25 minutes to bring about catastrophic change to the United States of America. After 9/11, major improvements were made for the safety of United States citizens. However a decision was also made to add to the casualties that 9/11 brought; we decided to seek revenge.
Less than a month after 9/11 The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in what would become the longest standing war in American history. The war was met with much support, we all wanted revenge on al-Qaeda. We went into Afghanistan with the intent on dismantling the organization. The Afghanistan war soon turned into a war against Iraq— also known as the war on terror. As the battle continued, support for it lessened; Americans began to think that it a waste of American lives to continue a seemingly unwinnable fight. Many felt that Iraq was in greater chaos after we pulled back our forces than it had been before we had declared war.
Although the war seemed to become irrelevant to many, major changes did ensue that have become very relevant in our lives, and in protecting the nation. An act called the Aviation and Transportation Security Act was passed by congress on November 19, 2001. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created as well. These new changes were to ensure that 9/11 would never happen again. Liquids are now not allowed on planes if greater than 3.4 ounces, shoes and other carry on articles are checked at security to ensure everyone’s safety.
Changes in Immigration policy were another major effect from 9/11. It became much harder to obtain an American Visa, and tourism in American went down for many years after 9/11. Distrust arouse, and fear of American muslims skyrocketed. Anti-Islamic violence grew to extreme numbers for many years after 9/11. Jason Villemez, (PBS News Writer) stated in his article “Anti-Islamic violence in America jumped after the attacks. According to the FBI, 28 hate crimes committed in 2000 were found to be anti-Islamic. In 2001, that number jumped to 481, and it remained above 100 in subsequent years.” The fear and hate for Muslims grew to become a major problem in America, and American-Muslims were frequently discriminated against.
9/11 is still a date poisoned by devastation; however, the devastation does not exist within the boundaries of that single day. 9/11 caused a terror in America that has yet to falter; we are not safe and we are not as invincible as we once thought ourselves to be. Many Americans were killed in the wars that were brought about because of 9/11 and many American Muslims were subjected to cruel torment from their neighbors. Although 9/11 made us a stronger and more united nation, the loss that we suffered will never be forgotten.