The Day America Will Never Forget

Those who overcome great tragedy undergo immense change. With the upcoming twentieth anniversary of the attack of 9/11, the effects of this calamity continue to impact everyday life in the United States of America (USA). 

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, was a horrifying day that stole almost 3,000 American lives.That morning, no one in America could have even fathomed what was to come that day. In a single moment, the epicenter of the Western world’s culture and economy was ambushed as the entire nation watched in utter disbelief. Moreover, not only were the Twin Towers attacked, but the Pentagon, which houses the United States’ security and Department of Defense, was as well. Every American’s life changed that day.

In the words of former President George W. Bush, “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve”.

A historic picture of first responders raising the American flag over the damage of 9/11, which is a symbol of hope for the nation. Photo provided by ABC News

The pain caused could have sent this nation into a state of shock, fear, and worry, instead, the United States stood firm. Not letting the heinous crime that occurred hinder the USA, many policies and laws have been implemented to ensure the safety of United States citizens, such as The Patriot Act, the foundation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and stricter airport protocol. 

The USA PATRIOT Act stands for Uniting the Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. In October of 2001, George W. Bush signed a law, which enabled the government to monitor phones and internet activity. The Patriot Act also allowed harsher punishments for crimes of terroristic nature. 

In November of 2002, the Department of Homeland Security was also enacted by Bush. The mission statement as declared by the DHS is “With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values”. Homeland Security has 22 departments, which include FEMA, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Two months after 9/11, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act was enacted. Strict Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screenings that scan people and luggage for weapons or potential threats to the safety of other passengers were enforced. The TSA instituted certain protocols such as the removal of shoes and forbade liquids as well.

The 9/11 memorial surrounded by American flags to honor the victims of the attacks. Photo provided by the 9/11 Memorial Organization

Twenty years later, the USA has become stronger, more resilient, and secure. A horrific event that was meant to instill fear in the hearts of Americans, instead caused this great country to choose to prevail and unify as one. 9/11 is the day America will never forget.

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