September 11th 2001

Table of Content

Tragic day for many people all over the U.S. The day the twin towers came crumbling down, caused panic and chaos all over the streets of New York, and instilled fear in every American watching the horror unfold on live television. Many feared for their loved ones that worked at the World Trade Center. It felt as if the whole world stood still and watched breathlessly as the towers stood ablaze to only then crumble to dust leaving behind only the memories of 2,996 innocent lives.

The impact of this tragedy is still felt today not only in the lives lost but in many other ways as well. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan after this attack in an attempt to neutralize the threat of al-Qaeda, the ones responsible for the attack. Two years later, after the invasion of Afghanistan the U.S. then invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein was posing to be a possible threat. In March 2003, the fifteen year war in Iraq begins, which the U.S. is still involved in today. As stated by Matthew Green from KQED News, “Our military involvement in Afghanistan, which continues today, has turned into the longest-running war in U.S. history.” Not only are the loved ones that are passed away that day missed by their families, but families also miss their loved ones that are deployed in Afghanistan right now. Many of those families are living in worry that they might not make it back.

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The U.S. has also started spending more money on defense since the attacks. Mr. Green states that, “Homeland Security’s discretionary budget jumped from about $16 billion in 2002 to more than $43 billion in 2011. Meanwhile, the budgets of the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration and Border Patrol have all more than doubled since 2001.” Imagine how far we could have come as a country/society if we did not have to worry about terrorism? All the money we are spending on defense could be going to charity, science, education, and medicine. We have enough problems of our own to be worrying about a bunch of crazy people trying to kill us just because we do not believe in their religion. Military and defense is one of the nation’s biggest budgets. That money could be used on better things as stated before.

Deportations has also been on the rise since 9/11. Being so concerned over our nation’s security after such a traumatizing event has caused us to be paranoid to the point where we kick people out for offenses that are not even that serious and do not merit terrorist suspicion. Ted Hesson from ABC News states that,

“Deportations have doubled in the last decade, but criminal deportations have increased

at a much higher clip… Many of those deported have never actually been convicted of a

crime, since simply being charged with a crime is grounds for deportation. Of those who

have been convicted, the crime may have been minor or non-violent, including a prior

immigration infraction or drug possession.”

Offenses that are very minor are being used to justify kicking people out of this country when really they should just be fined, sentenced to do time in prison, or even community service would be a more suiting punishment. Everyone should have the chance to redeem themselves, pay their debts to society, and be reintegrated as a functioning contributing member of the community. The only reason anyone should be deported is if there is proof that said person is planning on committing an act of terror.

Mr. Hesson also states that Immigration funding has increased exponentially, “With the creation of the Department of Homeland Security came an avalanche of federal funding. Last year, a pair of economists estimated that the creation of Homeland Security cost the U.S. $589 billion from 2001-2011.” The creation of the Department of Homeland Security was one of many knee jerk reactions to the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and a lot of money has gone towards it. Once again money that could be going to schools, hospitals, or to help feed the poor.

It also changed how americans view the world, especially for all the children who witnessed the event, whether it was on tv or right before their very eyes. Most kids tend to have a real sense of security growing up, thinking that the world is a safe place and that most people are inherently good. That is until they experience, witness, or see something that shakes them to their core and start to see the world for the dangerous place it really is. 9/11 was the event that awakened many children and showed them the horrors of the world we live in.

Andrew Wagaman from The Morning Call interviewed a few people that recall the event and asked them how it impacted their lives. Bret Ludlow stated that, ‘It was the first time we started to see that the world was a darker place, it opened my eyes a bit, and was the first time I realized, things can be pretty serious out there.” He also interviewed a woman named Laura and here is what she had to say when recalling the event, “Laura Baum recalls going to New York for an acting audition just three days after the attacks. She remembers a silent bus entering the city, a burning smell and filtered sunlight trespassing in a new space between skyscrapers. ‘I felt personally violated,” she stated. These two people were fairly young when the attacks happened and really opened their eyes to how dangerous the world can really be, and how just because someone is at home does not necessarily mean they are safe.

But the impact 9/11 had on children and their view of the world was not all negative. Brett Ludlow states that, “But yesterday’s teens and pre-teens tend to say the attacks and their complicated aftermath represented a loss of innocence that dimmed their view of the world but demonstrated the importance of community.” They saw the world for how dangerous and scary it truly is, but they also saw how important it is to come together during a crisis like this. That no matter how bad a situation is coming together as a community and helping each other out during times like these can always make things a bit easier to get through. There are bad people in this world, they will try to harm us, and some of us may even be harmed by them, but as long as we stand together we will get through and maybe even one day see an end to terrorism.

Traveling has become much more difficult, getting through TSA is always a bit of a headache. An article from PBS shows some examples just how difficult it is dealing with airport security these days.

“For many travelers today, just getting to the plane can be a major hassle. For some, it has

been a nightmare. A Marine Corps veteran tried to board a plane at Midway airport in

Chicago last year, only to find that he was on the FBI no-fly list. A Colorado woman was

arrested and held in jail overnight because she says she has an uncontrollable aversion to

being touched by strangers. A college student from Philadelphia was handcuffed and

detained for more than four hours because he was studying Arabic and was carrying

homemade flash cards.”

Those are just a few examples of what we have to or could possibly have to deal with just to board a flight for our next vacation. They have even put limits on how much water people can bring with them when boarding a flight because someone tried boarding a plane with liquid explosives. Although it is a bit of a hassle and sometimes annoying everything is there for a good reason, airports are pretty big targets for terrorism and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

After 9/11 the U.S. government became very distrusting of their own citizens. The government started spying on almost everyone, even the majority of those that are just regular everyday Americans that show no signs of radical islamic terrorism. Mr. Green states that, “Classified documents that were leaked in 2013 by former government contractor Edward Snowden detail the expansion of a colossal surveillance state that’s seeped into the lives of millions of ordinary Americans.” Not only was our sense of security and safety ripped from us that day but also our privacy. We can no longer send a text, make a phone call, or even browse the internet without having to worry if our own government is spying on us, some may even hesitate to do research on certain topics out of paranoia of being put on a watch list.

9/11 almost ushered in a whole new era for America. America’s budget is now very heavily spent on national security. Whole new departments were created to help prevent terrorist attacks. It launched The U.S. into the longest war we have ever been in. It traumatized an entire generation, while simultaneously teaching them very valuable lessons about coming together as a community and working together. Although 9/11 was a horrible tragedy that still haunts many of us to this day, it still brought about some good things.

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September 11th 2001. (2022, May 16). Retrieved from

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