After 9/11

By: Mallory Johnson

Staff writer

Americans are still feeling the impact of the September 11 attacks 14 years later. After the deadly 9/11 attacks – the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil – the country has been scarred. Because of the attack the U.S. has been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Homeland Security was established, and Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the attacks, was killed. The Patriot Act and other legislation expanded presidential authority and government intrusion into our personal lives while decreasing our civil liberties. The U.S still feels the rippling effects of 9/11 and it still affects the American lives today.

The most obvious changes that Americans faced after the September 11 attacks have been at the airport. Travelers must check in at least two hours before their flight takes off. There are restrictions on what travels can bring on-board. Liquids and toiletries have to be a certain size and be placed in a clear sealed bag. No food or bottled water is allowed through security. Passengers are selected at random for screenings. The extra security protocol means longer lines. Today, travelers can move a little faster through the lines because they are now more accustomed to the procedures.

The airport is not the only thing that received tighter restrictions after the 9/11 attacks. Public buildings have also tightened security since September 11, requiring most American workers with office jobs to enter the building with a security badge. Guests who enter these buildings must sign in. Food and flower deliveries must be left at the front desk. Television studios that once let their fans in for tours have closed their doors to the public. According to some travel insurance companies, such as CSA Travel Protection, now provide coverage for terrorist attacks committed in the United States. Before 9/11, travel insurance only covered terrorist attacks overseas.

The American people have also been affected psychologically from the September 11 attacks. Some Americans responded with fear, anger, as well as a growing intolerance for immigrants, especially against people who were or appeared to be from the Middle East. In the days following the attack, the government launched a war on terror and searched for suspects internationally. Many Muslims and Asians in the U.S. reported that they were victims of harassment and hate crimes. Sikhs, who follow Indian religions, were targeted because they wear turbans, which are stereotypically associated with Muslims. According to FBI reports, people and institutions that identified with the Islamic faith had an increase of hate crimes.

Anger and fear aren’t the only lingering psychological repercussions of the September 11 attacks. According to figures from three New York City 9/11 health programs reported by , at least 10,000 police officers, firefighters and civilians directly exposed to the World Trade Center attacks have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. When the Twin Towers collapsed, thousands of tons of toxic debris containing carcinogens were released. Exposure to these chemicals led to illnesses among rescue and recovery workers. Residents, students, and office workers in Lower Manhattan and nearby Chinatown have experienced health problems since the attacks. Several deaths have been linked to the toxic dust.

Worldwide sympathy has faded since the 9/11 attacks. Much of the Arab world resented the U.S. occupation of Iraq. In May 2011, the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden, has further strained relations with Pakistan. Throughout the Middle East and Pakistan, protests against the United States have continued over the years since the attacks. This country has still not recovered from the biggest terrorist attack that happen on its soil. Security measures have been put in place, but Americans are still feeling the impact of what took place on that fateful day of September 11.


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