You don’t need me to remind you, but 10 Years ago America was brutally attacked as Islamic Extremists of the terror group Al-Qaeda flew planes into the the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon just outside of Washington, DC, and a field in Pennsylvania. The attacks directly resulted in almost 3,000 deaths, and changed the United States of America forever.
Shortly after the September 11th attacks, the War in Afghanistan was waged to defeat Al-Qaeda. The US Patriot Act was signed, giving government dramatic and controversial surveillance power of its citizens in an effort to increase intelligence and prevent another attack. The next year, the Guantanamo Bay Detention and Interrogation Camp in Cuba was opened, allowing suspects from Afghanistan (and later Iraq) to be detained indefinitely without receiving formal charges. In that same year, the Department of Homeland Security was established to increase government coordination in matters concerning domestic security. The next year, the Iraq war was launched under the explanation that Saddam Hussien supported Al-Queda and was planning to provide them with weapons of mass destruction.
My point is, September 11th did more that knock two buildings down, it removed the sense innocence and natural security in which this country had. It has now become routine to take off our shoes and go through “uncomfortable” pat downs if we seek to fly. The term “Random Bag Check” has become familiar to those who frequently use mass transit. And the sight of police officers strapped with a Machine guns across their chest, in a non-combat public area, no longer gives people pause. September 11th made things that we, as a country, previously would have condemned as un-american, routine procedures.
As an 8-year-old child who thought I was leaving school early only because of a scheduled doctors appointment, I couldn’t imagine the colossal and long-term effects of this one day. Like most of my friends, I was in my forth-grade classroom as the flood of students prematurely leaving school finally reached me. In the car, my father did his best at explaining the events of that Tuesday morning (in the city in which my mother worked) to his extremely curious son. A few hours later, I began to understand the seriousness of the event when my mother walked into the house earlier than she usually did. The TV in the living room was fixed on the news replaying the desperate images of the towers collapsing when my father quickly asked if he should turn it off. It was my mother’s solemn response of “It’s already happened,” that showed me the power of the event; as this woman who was always strong in front of her children was clearly emotionally scared.
So now I ask you, where were you on September 11th and how did it “shatter your innocence?” Comment Below!