The 20 Year Anniversary of 9/11

The 20 Year Anniversary of 9/11

Mariah Holston, Staff Writer

Twenty years ago on September 11, 2001, our nation experienced one of the most horrific acts in history. The Islamic extremist group, al-Qaeda, hijacked four U.S. commercial airplanes.

Two out of the four planes were flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The third plane hit the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The last plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. At that moment, every American feared for their lives. This initiated the longest war in history. George W. Bush, the Wartime President, knew that the protection of the United States citizens was top priority.

According to The White House, “In response, Bush formed a new cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security, sent American forces into Afghanistan to break up the Taliban, a movement under Osama bin Laden that trained, financed, and exported terrorist teams. The Taliban was successfully disrupted but Bin Laden was not captured and was still on the loose as Bush began his second term.” When Barack Obama came into office, he sent out tens of thousands more troops to Afghanistan in hopes to weaken the Taliban. By August 10, 2010, U.S. forces reached 100,000 in Afghanistan; however, Osama bin Laden was tracked down in Pakistan. Bin Laden was killed during a Navy Seal raid in May 2011. Obama began withdrawing the number of Troops in Afghanistan and by the end of his second term 10,000 troops were left in the country.

After 20 years of this long, dreadful war Joe Biden announced that he was withdrawing the remaining 2,500 troops from Afghanistan. The 9/11 attacks impacted the United States economy and the hearts of millions. History explains, “On the first day of trading after the attacks, the market fell 7.1 percent, or 684 points. New York City’s economy alone lost 143,000 jobs a month and $2.8 billion wages in the first three months.” 60 percent of jobs were lost because the attacks heavily affected finances and air transportation. History also states, “The estimated cost of the World Trade Center damage is $60 billion. The cost to clean the debris at Ground Zero was $750 million.” Millions of people were affected by these terrorist attacks. According to 11 Facts About 9/11, “On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed, 400 were police officers and firefighters, in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in NYC, at the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C., and in a plane crash near Shanksville, PA.” A total of 2,996 innocent people lost their lives.

As we mourn the death of nearly 3,000 people, there are still over 1,000 unidentified bodies, to this day. NPR states, “There are still more than 1,100 victims, at least 40% of those who died on 9/11, that remain unidentified.” Forensic scientists are trying to test body parts that were recovered from the World Trade Center site in hopes of identifying victims. History states, “On December 18, 2001, Congress approved naming September 11 “Patriot Day” to commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In 2009, Congress named September 11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance.” The Never Forget Fund is a fundraising campaign to support the 9/11 memorial and museum. In New York City, the Tribute in Light is an annual public art installation that lights up the sky from dusk to dawn. September 11 is a day to remember all the lives that were lost.