9/11 was the most defining event of the century. Whether you were alive to witness it occur, or if you heard stories about it from others, essentially everyone knows what transpired that day. One thing that most people remember is how much pain and suffering it caused in the moment, as almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, many people forget the long-term consequences, which included major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism. 9/11 is the most catastrophic and consequential terrorist event on American soil, hence why it is so much more significant than other terrorist attacks.
9/11 was a photographic event. Compared to an “ordinary” terrorist attack, which might include a bombing or an assassination, two planes crashing into the most well-known buildings in the nation is unforgettable. To add insult to injury, the whole event was broadcast live on television, further ingraining the event into people’s minds.
When a terrorist attack is carried out, the public is alarmed and frightened. However, after 9/11, the nation was more than just scared – they were devastated and shocked. The U.S was the most powerful and influential country in the world and was put to dust by a small group of people. To put it simply, 9/11 was the wake-up call for the United States. Change was imperative in ensuring security.
Many questions surfaced after the event. Who was responsible for this? How did we let this happen? For the first time in a long time, the nation was united together as one, as “Americans were enraged by the attacks” and wanted revenge. And because of this collectiveness, the U.S took action. Moreover, the U.S made the tough decision to fight – fight for peace, fight for the justice of the victims, and fight for security. But what they did not know was how long and unbearable this fight, later known as the War on Terror, would be.
Many terrorist attacks are forgotten, but there is a reason that 9/11 is remembered. Many innocent people’s lives were lost, and it directly impacted major lasting changes. The proportion of Americans who said the attacks “changed this country in a lasting way” has never fallen below 83 percent. The changes were not limited to the addition of airport security, but also included changes all across the spectrum. The government built out a massive infrastructure, including creating the Department of Homeland Security. As the name suggests, this new sector was dedicated to public security. Alongside this, the government empowered the FBI and its partners at the CIA, National Security Agency, and the Pentagon. And above all, 9/11 was the onset of the War on Terror. Collectively, the numerous changes helped secure the nation, as security became paramount.