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The History of 9/11

By Nicole Visan

What Happened?

The 9/11 terrorist attack was the deadliest terrorist attack that occurred on American soil. About 3,000 people died which included 400 police officers and firefighters. Although it was not the first terrorist attack on the twin towers, it took nine months to clean and there was 1.8 million tons of wreckage. It caused 20 percent of people living close to the World Trade Centers to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The ambulances and television networks started screening the event to the rest of the nation. It resulted in national panic.

The 9/11 attack is a significant event in America’s history. Four total planes were hijacked and crashed killing everyone on board including the hijackers on September 9, 2001. It was a suicide mission by the Islamic extremist group, al Qaeda. The first two planes crashed into the New York Twin Towers. Five hijackers took control of the American Airlines Flight 11 and crashed it into the World Trade Center’s North Tower at 0846. Another five terrorists took control of the United Airlines Flight 175 and crashed it into the World Trade Center’s South Tower at 0903. Meanwhile, at 0937, the third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, hit the Pentagon which killed 125 military and civilian workers. Only 56 minutes after the first plane crash, the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed, killing over 800 people. The last plane, United Airlines Flight 93 (UA93), crashed into a field around Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03. The passengers in Flight 93 fought the terrorists causing it to fly off course and land into a field. The exact location of the intended crash is unknown, but investigators assume it was supposed to crash into the White House, the U.S. Capitol, or the Camp David presidential retreat. Just 12 minutes later, parts of the Pentagon where the airplane hit, specifically the outer ring, collapses. Lastly, the North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses at 10:28 and killed over 1,600 people.

All of the airports shut down as soon as word of the attacks spread out. The military took quick action by raising the force protection levels to Delta (the highest military force protection). They also secured the borders with Canada and Mexico by controlling every person that passed by, checking every vehicle and driver information. Ports were shut down temporarily for inspection. The fire and police departments were overwhelmed with calls and the situation because they were not properly trained nor prepared for this type of major incidence. Ambulances and hospitals in the area were overloaded with patients who were in dire need of medical assistance.

The U.S. President, George W. Bush was visiting Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida when the attack first started. He then was taken to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana and stated that the United States will punish those who are responsible for this crime as he arrived to. He then later gave a speech addressing the nation. He talked about the foundation of our country which stands on the unity of the American people. That cannot be taken away.

Overall, this was a tragic event that took the lives of thousands of people. It was the worst terrorist attack Americans have faced in their own backyard. The people who lived to tell the story will never be the same after that experience. The firefighters and police who fought for us will always be remembered, and the brave civilians that risked their lives for the safety of others by taking control of a plane from a terrorist group will be looked back on as heroes.

What Caused 9/11?

The Islamic Revolution took place during this time and many people started acting on their beliefs for what is right. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and the Egyptian president was assassinated. The extremist group turned anti-American because the United States also support Israel and the Arab regimes. Birthrate began to rise and economic opportunities were decreasing. Weapons started increasing in numbers in the middle east which may have caused violent thoughts. Osama Bin Laden, organizer of Al-Qaida, disagreed with the Americans to station U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. He believed that Americans violated the sacred spaces around the Mecca and Medina. There was a lot of stressful events taking place in the middle east. No one knows the exact cause of the 9/11 attack, but pressure on different groups of people may have caused them to act violently.

What is the Significance of 9/11?

This tragic event had a huge impact on the United States as a nation. Economically, it caused stock markets to suddenly drop. The event led to 40 billion dollars in insurance losses. Security in the country was increased immediately. At the U.S. and Canadian border, access into the countries used to be easy without much verification. During the event and even after, vehicle documents were often checked and specific personal documents were also required. Some people are psychologically scarred from the attack and no longer feel safe in the country. It was a time when Americans realized that the United States is penetrable and their safety was no longer guaranteed.

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