September 11: A Day To Remember
September 11th, 2001. America was doing fine. The World Trade Centers in New York City, also known as the twin towers, were standing tall and proud for they were the tallest buildings in the world. The Pentagon and Washington DC were also doing well. Nothing could be better. No one knew that in a couple of hours, America’s greatest landmarks would be destroyed. Everyone everywhere from the West to the East, the North and the South would be in a crisis.
Al-Qaeda, a terrorist group founded by Osama Bin Laden that took refuge in Afghanistan, were the people who attacked the nation. The main operator of the attack was a man named Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. During an interview with a reporter, he claimed to be planning to blow up some dozen American planes that were in Asia at the time. The plan failed, yet his hatred for America never died out. By joining Osama bin Laden, he realized that his dreams could become a reality. The 9/11 plot took place and obtained help from areas all around the world. There were meetings in Malaysia, flight lessons in the U.S., plot coordinators in Germany, money transfers from Dubai, and recruitments for people from all over the Middle East. This was a big operation, and Al-Qaeda wasn’t limiting it to one or two areas (Brittania Library).
92 passengers had no idea that when boarding American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 aircraft, they would be colliding into the northern twin tower at 8:46 am. This plane had departed from Boston and was headed towards Los Angeles when it made a slight detour. Everyone was confused. Why would anyone crash into one of the twin towers? It must be a mistake. That was the belief, but it was no deniable fact that 9/11 was going to be a very memorable day. 8:14 am, United Airlines flight 175, another Boeing 767 aircraft, departed from Boston and was also headed to Los Angeles. But it was hijacked and at 9:03 am, 17 minutes after the first plane had crashed, this plane hit the southern twin tower. The world was in shock. It was decided that, for the first time in a long while, America was under attack. At 9:43 am American Airlines flight 77, a Boeing 757 aircraft, flew into the Pentagon, killing at least 100 people in the outer ring of the building and the 64 passengers on the plane. But some 44 citizens showed their true bravery when they attempted to stop the hijackers from taking over United Airlines flight 93, a Boeing 757 aircraft, and trying to destroy the US Capitol or White House. The plane, however, flew into a field near Pittsburg, killing everyone on board (Lerner). At the time of these attacks, President Bush was speaking to a 2nd-grade class in Florida. He left quickly, but before returning to Washington DC, he stopped at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Later that day, he made a speech saying that America would track down bin Laden if it was the last thing they’d do (Brittania Library).
On October 7, 2001, the U.S. sent warplanes and cruise missiles to Afghanistan as a purpose to attack al Qaeda military and terrorist camps supported by the Taliban. Great Britain joined the strikes, with the help of France, Germany, Canada, Australia, and many others In all, about 40 nations joined with the United States. The president distinguished the fight against terrorism by military commitments, financial actions, legislative and diplomatic actions, and law enforcement actions. On October 8, 2001, he issued an Executive Order establishing the Homeland Security Department, to “coordinate the executive branch’s efforts to detect, prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States.”The air attacks against Afghanistan were followed by ground attacks. The United States cooperated with the Northern Alliance, a foe of the Taliban. By December 2001, the Taliban had been removed from power, and the United States and other nations began the rebuilding Afganistan. Although bin Laden was constantly targeted during the attacks, America failed to capture him during the attacks on the Taliban.
In December 2001, U.S. officials raided the offices of Muslim charities headquartered in Illinois, the Global Relief Foundation (GRF) and the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF). These organizations were thought to have contributed money to terrorists who planned the 9/11 attacks. The hardness on these groups was because the U.S. government belied that bin Laden and the al Qaeda network use charitable groups, credit card, and manufacturing companies to raise money for their operations. This became a strategy for the US to crack down on terrorism. Congress responded to the attacks, and with the urging of the president, passed the USA PATRIOT ACT OF 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, and other legislation designed to provide protection against further attacks. The United States has continued its attack on terrorists and the nations that harbor them since 9/11. In March 2003, the United States attacked Iraq, purportedly for Iraq’s violation of resolutions banning its possession of weapons of mass destruction. The Bush administration suspected that the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, gave support to bin Laden and al Qaeda, and the attacks on Iraq have been seen as a continuation of the War of Terrorism. The September 11th attacks also had an impact on the U.S. airline industry.
American Airlines and United Airlines each lost two planes during the attack, and the U.S. government ordered that all planes in the country remain grounded for a week following the attacks. In response to the losses incurred by the airlines, Congress enacted the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act, Pub. L. No. 107-42, 115 Stat. 230, which was signed into law 11 days after the September 11th attacks. The act was designed to compensate air carriers for their losses during and after the attacks and also to preserve the continued vitality of the air transportation system in the United States. Despite this legislation, United Airlines filed for BANKRUPTCY in 2002, and American Airlines bordered on bankruptcy during the time following the attacks. The attacks had a greater impact on the victims of the attacks and their families. As part of Public Law Number 107-42, Congress enacted the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to provide a form of recovery for the victims of the attacks. The U.S. Attorney General’s Office administers the fund through a SPECIAL MASTER. Recovery under these provisions is limited to those who were physically injured during the attacks, so victims of non-physical, economic loss cannot recover. As of May 2003, fund administrators had issued 495 award letters to victims of the attacks and their families. The average award to the family of a deceased victim is $1.44 million (West’s Encyclopedia of American Law)
September 11th, a day that would be taught to every child in America. A day that would be remembered forever. A day that marked an important place in America’s history. A day that has many memorials, and now a museum. Many innocent lives were lost that day, and for America, many things changed. The United States now has better securities, different rules for airplanes, and hunts down terrorists and tries to stop terrorism around the world. By all accounts, it will be no wonder that Americans will remember 9/11 forever.
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