An event that sent the United States into emotional and economical distress, the attacks on the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001 opened the eyes of Americans to the threat of terrorism. As the world watched, three planes were flown into each of the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. The unexpected attack stunned americans everywhere and sent them into a feeling of confusion and want for those responsible to be punished. After investigation, it was discovered that those responsible were members of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden (History). The terrorists did these horrific attacks on the twin towers and the pentagon out of hatred of America. The fact that the attacks were done for essentially no reason brought out fear in Americans as they felt unsafe and that another attack could happen at anytime and any place. The government responded to these attacks by declaring a war on terrorists, vowing to “Meet violence with patient justice” (Bush). By declaring war on terror, the United States has spent over a trillion dollars to finance their was effort. The unexpected terrorist attacks sent Americans into a feeling of helplessness and uncertainty. This sense of fear, combined with an economic depression resulting from war, makes the attacks on September 11, 2001 the most traumatic event in American history.
September 11, 2001 (Also known as 9/11) is more traumatic than any other event in American history because unlike events like the civil war or the world wars, it was totally unexpected. While the government did know that al-Qaeda held a serious hatred towards America, no one could've guessed that such a large scale attack would've been carried out against innocent civilians. On September 11, 2001, 8:45 a.m., an American Airlines Boeing 767 with over 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the northern tower of the World Trade Center in the city of New York (History). 18 minutes after the first tower was hit, a second Boeing 767 appeared and turned toward the World Trade Center, heading directly into the south tower around the 60th floor. The plane crash caused an explosion that showered the streets below with burning debris. Then, as the world watched the events happening in New York City American Airlines Flight 77 hit the side of the Pentagon at 9:45 a.m (History). In an eye witness account of Syen Hussain, a worker at the first World Trade Center tower, he recalls while working on the first floor that as he was evacuating the building, he witnessed atrocities hes never seen such as “Devastation, body parts, plane parts, people jumping down from the windows” (Abbas). The fact that those in the tower were being forced to either burn to death or jump 100 stories to their death emphasizes the gruesome outcome of these attacks. What makes this event so traumatic is that not only was there was such a horrific outcome for the 3,000 innocent civilians who died in the attacks, but there was also a feeling of uncertainty and helplessness in Americans everywhere.
Another key reason that September 11, 2001 was the most traumatic event in American history was because after such an unexpected attack, Americans felt unsafe in that they could be the target of a terrorist attack. Citizens could relate to those civilians in the towers because they were just average americans at their day jobs. In his eye witness account, Syen Hussain explains how he was filled with anger at those responsible because the people who they harmed had done nothing wrong. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Americans now had a fear that they could be the target of a terrorist attack simply by chance, just as those in the World Trade Centers were. A great fear of Americans was now the idea of flying was dangerous. The terrorists used our own means of transportation as a weapon against us, which scared American citizens. The government needed to take action to keep the American...
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