Lenz, Megan

The September 11, 2001 terror attack on the United States was a horrific event that will forever leave its stain on our nation’s history. This attack was initiated by 19 Islamic extremists associated with al-Qaeda, who successfully hijacked four different airliners in attempts to crash them into various buildings containing a large amount of people, all of utmost importance. This attack began at 8:45 AM, and controlled the news broadcasting and media outlets for weeks after that. The events that took place on this day will forever be remembered as atrocious moments of history, defining the American spirit in the face of evil and its determination to rise as a whole nation.

This attack had many lasting effects on the private, public, and symbolic settings of America. First, the private sector, mainly dealing with war efforts and civilian protection, changed rapidly. Almost immediately after the collapse of the World Trade centers, President Bush declared war on Afghanistan in hopes of eradicating al-Qaeda forces from the area and eliminating their influence in any Middle Eastern country. In addition to the impending war, immigration laws and civilian privacy were vastly changed. The Department of Homeland Security was created, which increased the number of deportations and made it harder to get into the country as a foreigner. These changes in the private sector of America led to more concerns for national security, increasing American vigilance for its citizens. In the public sector, the Patriot Act was the largest change in policy. This act allowed for more government monitoring of everyday citizens who before would not have been investigated. The point of the Patriot Act was to keep closer tabs on American people, foreign and domestic, in attempts to prevent another attack on American soil. The symbolic aspect of 9/11 is evident in our national spirit, as it strengthened the resolve of the American people. Although fear was prevalent in society for weeks, even months, after the attack, people banded together in support for our nations heroes. The terror attack completed its job by ensuing fear in the people, but did not cause an uprising, as it is ultimately intended to do.