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Essay on 9/11

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September 11th, 2001 would be remembered as the worst tragedy to ever happen to the United States. On the morning of 9/11, four planes would be hijacked in hopes of crippling the American economy. Two of the four planes would then crash into the World Trade Center in New York City leaving the twin towers destroyed. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in or around the World Trade Center (Samantha& Epatko, 2018). This soon would be recognized as one of the worst attacks in America. Since then, the unfolding of The United States would take place causing effects such as health risks, economic consequences, security policies, and American views on Muslims. Each year on this date, we recognize and remember the men and women who lost their lives and the changes that took place in American history.

Following, the 9/11 attacks reports have shown that a 53% increase in cardiovascular ailment occurred in response to high-stress acute (Holman, et.al.). Exposure to the attacks shows a higher rate of PTSD as well as the fear that one might experience terrorism again (Holman, et al.). Almost two decades later, illnesses such as digestive diseases, cancers, and respiratory have been linked to 9/11(Samantha& Epatko, 2018). Risk factors including intense dust exposure, homes being raided by layers of dust, witnessing acts of horror, and lack of social support have played in physical and mental health issues (“Physical and Mental Health-9/11 Health”).

In 2011, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established the World Trade Center Program to better track symptoms and treat people who were involved that day (Samantha & Epatko, 2018). The WTC program has found over 90 health conditions and 60 different cancers due to 9/11. Close to 40,000 people have contracted a medical condition since 9/11(Flannigan,2016). Although, after much research and study there has yet to be an actual exact link to these illnesses from 9/11. Many who enrolled and treated were first responders. Earlier this year, with the help of comedian John Stewart, Congress passed funding for first responders until 2092 (Samantha & Epatko, 2018).

The attacks on the World Trade Center left lower Manhattan in a financial crisis. Over 30 million square feet were damaged and destroyed. Between property damage and clean-up, it was at an estimated cost of $33 billion (Bram, et. Al.). Other expenses that contributed to the cost included loss of lives income, World Trade Center buildings, and utilities. Due to the attack employment had declined and vacant office buildings rose. Though in 2001 America was already in a recession, 9/11 heightened it even more. Many jobs were lost including offices, retail stores, and transportation. Industries such as restaurants, hotels, and airfare dropped between 6% to 20%. Businesses had to cut back on hours and wages (Bram, et al.). The stock market had closed; tourism had dropped and oil prices had surged.

Another hefty expense caused by 9/11 was the war on terror. President Bush declared war on September 20th, 2011. Funding money included the cost of war, homeland security, and future war and veteran care. At the end of Bush’s two terms, the war on terror was at a cost of $1.164 trillion. Later President Obama would spend $807 trillion and President Trump budgeted $156 billion. This would leave the war on terror at $2.216 trillion (Amadeo, 2019). America then found itself in a major debt crisis. In 2018 due to the war on terror, America was in debt of around $21 trillion.

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Left horrified and panicked the public felt that there was a need to improve homeland security after the 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration later created a strategy that would take place in securing Americans against acts of terrorism. The main effort in the prevention of terrorism is to seek and identify the attackers.

According to Harvard Kennedy School, the number one way to prevent terrorist attacks is intelligence; this has been the top concern for homeland security. Agencies such as the CIA have been collecting data and performing intelligent activities (Miller, et al.). Though it is difficult to truly measure how one is thinking we also deepen our surveillance and suspicion of larger groups. Since the 9/11 attacks, awareness of foreign visitors and special groups has been aggressively watched. It has been instilled in the government to look at any individual that might be considered high risk. Points of entry and borders have cracked down on visitors entering the country. The Bush administration also invested in preparing first responders for acts of terrorism. This involved special equipment, training, and education. The public health system also becomes a concern in detecting chemical attacks. Making the public more aware of chemical attacks this set preparation oh how to deal with emergency care (Miller, et al.).

Before 9/11 going through a metal detector was pretty much all it took to board your plane. Identification checks and screening were not as thorough before entering the gates. There were no restrictions on items that you could travel with. Objects like nail clippers, box cutters, and liquids could make their way onto a plane. Airport Behavior and appearance were never really looked at or a major concern (O’Connor, 2016). Since September 11th airport security has changed dramatically. Not only by the long lines but also by the creation of TSA or also known as the Transportation Security Administration (Seaney, 2017). TSA has slowed down the process of boarding an aircraft by establishing checkpoints before entering the airport gates. After the attacks, welcoming parties were no longer allowed through the gates, only ticketed passengers. With TSA guarding the airport other changes were made. New procedures were set in place like showing identification along with your ticket, baggage must be scanned with all special items like toiletries and electronics taken out of bags to also be scanned. All outwear and footwear must be taken off when going through the metal detector and pat down. TSA also began to screen and watch for unusual behavior. Behavior that draws attention and concern. Excessively yawning, inappropriate attire and nervousness were all traits to look out for (O’Connor, 2016). All procedures are still enforced to this day and have not been a concern about whether it will be changed soon.

While most Americans blamed the attacks on al-Qaeda and not Muslims in general, some still perceived Muslims as guilty (Amad, 2019). U.S. Muslims have said that they find it more difficult to live in the United States after 9/11 than before. In 2001, the rate of anti-Muslim assaults rises to a high of 94% after the attacks on the World Trade Center (Samantha& Epatko, 2018). It was believed not by all Americans but some that the Islam religion is the main source of causing terrorism (Khan, 2018) In many reports and interviews many American Muslims were caught off guard by the attacks (Amad,2019). The Muslim community was filled with confusion and denial. Americans were raw with their grief and reactions. Four days after 9/11 a Sikh- American man was shot and killed in Arizona. The gunman assumed he was a Muslim due to his turban and shot him. In 2015, 3 Muslims were attacked and killed in North Carolina. It was soon to be one of the most publicized cases (Samantha & Epatko, 2018). In changing the stereotype of Muslims in America, Muslim activist Heraa Hashmi founder of Muslims condemn is working on different changes to change the mindset of the people (Khan, 2018).

This year 2019 marks the 18th anniversary of the worst terror attack on the U.S. Although the raw emotion and grief are still there, we take a day in remembering the ones who lost their lives. We recognize and cherish the last goodbyes and I love you’ s (“Chicago Tribune - We Are Currently Unavailable in Your Region.”). It’s a tragedy that will never be forgotten. In honoring and learning more about the 9/11 attacks you can visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum located at The World Trade Center in New York City. You'll have the chance to visit, learn and connect as well as support. This Memorial and museum serve as the documentation and significance of September 11th. Explore artifacts and get personal with real-life stories as you make your way around the Memorial (“The Museum | National September 11 Memorial & Museum.”).

The aftermath of 9/11 is still present, nearly two decades later. After the unfolding, we Americans were faced with health risks, economic disasters, security policies, and facing the war on terror.

Works Cited

  1. Amad Shaikh. “Remembering 9/11 as a Muslim American.” Aljazeera.Com, Al Jazeera, 12 Sept. 2019, www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/09/20119893039787215.html.
  2. Amadeo, Kimberly. 'How the 9/11 Attacks Still Damage the Economy Today.' The Balance, The Balance, 26. Jan. 2019, https://www.thebalance.com/how-the-9-11-attacks-still-effect-the-economy-today-3305536.
  3. ‌ Bram, Jason, et al. “Measuring the Effects of the September 11 Attack on New York City.” Core.Ac.Uk, 2019, core.ac.uk/reader/6792968, oai:RePEc:fip:fednep:y:2002:i:nov:p:5-20:n:v.8no.2. Accessed 31 Oct. 2019.
  4. “Chicago Tribune - We Are Currently Unavailable in Your Region.” Chicagotribune.Com, 2018, www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-new-September-11-anniversary-20190911-qthunbinjfgjhemlvp76dnclae-story.html. Accessed 31 Oct. 2019.
  5. Flannigan, Jenna. “15 Years Later, Nearly 40,000 People Have Health Conditions Related to 9/11.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 6 Sept. 2016, www.healthline.com/health-news/nearly-40000-have-health-conditions-related-to-9-11#2.
  6. Holman, E. Alison, et al. “Terrorism, Acute Stress, and Cardiovascular Health.” Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 65, no. 1, 1 Jan. 2008, p. 73, 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2007.6. Accessed 31 Oct. 2019.
  7. Khan, Aysha. “Seventeen Years after 9/11, Muslims Are Still 'Presumed Guilty'.” Religion News Service, 13 Sept. 2018, https://religionnews.com/2018/09/10/seventeen-years-after-9-11-muslims-are-still-presumed-guilty/.
  8. Miller, Steven E., et al. “After the 9/11 Disaster: Washington's Struggle to Improve Homeland Security.” Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/after-911-disaster-washingtons-struggle-improve-homeland-security.
  9. [bookmark: _Hlk23379547]“The Museum | National September 11 Memorial & Museum.” 911memorial.Org, 2019, www.911memorial.org/visit/museum. Accessed 31 Oct. 2019.
  10. O’Connor, Lydia. “This Is What It Was Like To Go To The Airport Before 9/11.” HuffPost Canada, HuffPost Canada, 11 Sept. 2016, www.huffpost.com/entry/airports-before-911_n_57c85e17e4b078581f11a133.
  11. “Physical and Mental Health - 9/11 Health.” Nyc.Gov, 2009, www1.nyc.gov/site/911health/researchers/physical-and-mental-health.page.
  12. Santhanam, Laura, and Larisa Epatko. “9/11 To Today: Ways We Have Changed.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 11 Sept. 2018, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/9-11-to-today-ways-we-have-changed.
  13. Seaney, Rick. “9 Ways Airport Security Changed Since 9/11.” FareCompare, FareCompare L.P., 22 Aug. 2017, https://www.farecompare.com/travel-advice/9-ways-security-has-changed-since-911/.
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