September 11’s Impact on America
Page 1, Kim September 11 is a tragic event and an unforgettable day to Americans. Nineteen terrorists seized four commercial U.
S jets and crashed them into American symbols of the military and capitalism, and shook the entire nation.
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The attack did change Americans, mostly for a short while, but it did make huge impacts in America. The Mindset of Americans Americans became closer, more spiritual, less materialistic, but only for a while. In spite of terror and grief, Americans with utmost hope and compassion helped the person in need.They prayed together and stood together. The attacks of September 11 have made some people feel insecure, particularly the ones who lost their loved ones. Appreciation, gratitude, and support to the fire fighters, the army, and to the people who protect the country have increased.
[Ostroushko] Even the pop songs in TV stopped for few days. Patriotic albums were released, such as “The Rising” by Springsteen and “Freedom” by Paul McCartney. People who were obsessed with who is at the top of music charts and new releases got interested in news and the world around them.Also, the blood donation rapidly increased following the attacks, showing the feeling of sympathy felt by Americans. [Glynn] For the most part, it was an awakening for these people; September 11 showed that, for the first time in history, the American homeland is actually vulnerable to a deadly foreign enemy. Americans were so scared, that they seem to think that they saw mysterious images from the smoke of the falling twin towers such as a face of the devil. [Dolfman] As a result, Americans no longer take freedom for granted after September 11.
Although these may seem like temporary changes, lasting changes did occur in the nation’s economy and security system. Page 2, Kim Long lines at the airport Airline industry is one of the fields that had lasting changes because of 9/11. Minutes after hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center, the government ordered over 1,000 airplanes that were in U. S airspace to land immediately. To prevent further incidents like 9/11, securities were tightened.Nowadays, many airports around the world use the controversial x-ray scans which see right through your clothes. Many people have complained about the scans, saying that it is an invasion of privacy and that people should have the right to refuse to be scanned.
People also complain that it is not safe to be exposed to so much radiation at once, saying that those who fly often are in danger. Tight securities have caused many disputes; a YouTube video showing an 8-year-old shirtless boy being patted down at the Salt Lake City Airport has more than 750,000 hits, and the parents of the boy were infuriated. Greene] Due to 9/11, people must wait in long lines to undergo uncomforting x-ray scans and tightened security. A New Sense of Security Airlines industry is not the only one with tightened security. Since 9/11, a new department was created, called the Homeland Security.The new department was aimed at tightening the national security and dealing with immigration affairs. Today, the department of Homeland Security became the third largest department in the United States government, and we see them at the airport, giving Americans some sense that America is on a war against terrorism.
Columbia Encyclopedia] The fact that President Bush created a whole new department shows how serious and determined America is in fighting against terrorism. War on Terror The American government took much more action than just creating a new department, but it declared war on terrorism. Bush ordered to invade Afghanistan in 2002 with about 100,000 soldiers in order to exterminate Al Qaeda and Taliban, the groups behind 9/11. Bush ambitiously launched the attack in order to capture Al Qaeda’s leader, Osama Bin Laden, quickly and put an end to terrorism.Despite the ambitious plan, Osama Bin Laden was nowhere to be found and the Talibans hid in underground bunker. [Bernton] As the American troops took over all of Afghanistan, the whole country shook in chaos; people were missing every day, and American troops died from suicide bombers. To establish democracy and avoid anarchy in Afghanistan, Bush could not withdraw American troops just yet, and the war seemed to lengthen.
Meanwhile, the U. S government received intelligence reports that Iraq, led by Sadam Hussein, has weapons of mass destruction and is planning to sell the weapons to Al Qaeda and Taliban.In order to stop Sadam Hussein from selling weapons of mass destruction, Bush ordered another invasion at Iraq in 2003. Although American forces succeeded in capturing Sadam Hussein, the war dragged on and no weapons of mass destruction was discovered. America had the same situation at Iraq; Iraq became chaotic and U. S troops died from suicide bombers. Bush was heavily criticized for his faults with the two wars and his popularity fell.
As a result of two long wars which continue until today, America faces a debt of $13 trillion dollars due to increased military spending. Rios] U. S defense spending remained fairly steady throughout the late 1990s, but since 2002, it has climbed by about $50 billion each year. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost about $1. 5 trillion since 2001. [Horning] Today, America’s defense spending accounts for almost 50% of world’s total defense expenditures. [Stiglitz] Page 4, Kim America’s Economic Troubles The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), and NASDAQ did not open on September 11 and remained closed until September 17.
When the stock markets reopened, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) stock market index fell 684 points, or 7. 1%, to 8921, a record-setting one-day point decline. In New York City, about 430,000 job-months and $2. 8 billion in wages were lost in the three months following the 9/11 attacks. [Barnhart] The city’s gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to have declined by $27. 3 billion for the last three months of 2001 and all of 2002. The Federal government provided $11.
2 billion in immediate assistance to the Government of New York City in September 2001, and $10. billion in early 2002 for economic development and infrastructure needs. [Makinen] Because of the two wars and a creation of Homeland Security as a new department, U. S government faces a huge budget deficit, further increasing the debt. These wars indirectly caused economic recession in America. As the government focused on the war, its economy and the people were neglected. America’s economy is in the toilet, with unemployment rate soaring up to 10% and banks going out of business.
Health Effects The debris from the collapsed tower has caused many serious health problems.Several deaths have been linked to the toxic dust caused by the World Trade Center’s collapse and the victims’ names will be included in the World Trade Center memorial. [Smith] There is also scientific speculation that exposure to various toxic products in the air may have Page 5, Kim negative effects on fetal development. [Baschat] Due to this potential hazard, a notable children’s environmental health center is currently analyzing the children whose mothers were pregnant during the WTC collapse, and were living or working near the World Trade Center towers.Also, a study of rescue workers released in April 2010 found that all the workers studied had impaired lung functions, and that 30% to 40% of workers were reporting persistent symptoms that started within the first year of the attack with little or no improvement since. [Grady] Public Enemy: Muslims As the hardships continued, the hatred for Muslims continued to grow. Reports of Muslims being targeted because of their religion were virtually unheard of before 9/11, hovering at around 30 incidents a year.
After 2001 however, incidents have leveled off at about 150 a year. Horning] Even at the airports, the Homeland Security workers tend to double check the Middle-Easterners rather than any other race. Today Americans generally have misconceptions about the people in turbans; we hear jokes on TV that Muslims carry bombs in their turbans, and that people should be cautious with them. Christians say that 9/11 started the new Crusades. Beginning of a New Era in America: September 11 With all these changes, life in America is definitely different after 9/11. It seems so long ago that those numbing images burned themselves into Americans’ memories, yet U.S troops continue to fight to defeat terrorism.
The terrorists only planned to take out a couple Page 6, Kim buildings in the U. S during 9/11, but the destruction of a few buildings have tightened airport securities, killed many in two wars, landed America in an economic recession with $13 trillion debt, and increased hatred for Muslims more than ever. Al Qaeda and Taliban definitely got much more than what they originally wanted. Despite America’s desperate efforts to end terrorism, the times of peace and prosperity seems to only exist in a history book.