Free Research Paper On Articles Discussing The Events Of The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks
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America on September 12, 2001:
“God Have Mercy, War has Come Home”
There are no Americans that can forget the events of September 11, 2001 when 4 passenger planes were hijacked by Muslim extremists and used as weapons; one sent to the Pentagon, 2 were sent to destroy the Twin Towers in New York City and the fourth was intended for Washington D.C. but crashed, due to passenger rebellion, and never made it to the target. John Balzar, in an article for The New York Times, regarding the 9/11 terrorist attacks, discusses the emotions, the thoughts, and the mentality of an America that woke up on the September 12, 2001 to a nation that was no longer as safe, secure and impervious to attack as many may had thought (2001). The bulk of the article discusses the emotions and attitudes of Americans after this invasion of their borders, the devastation and loss of life was something that had never been experienced before. All of these are the reasons that make this event so unforgettable.
First he takes a rather critical stance. He discusses that America as an entity that can be rather arrogant. We have been known to publically and politically goad and tempt nations to fear us or attack us. The author attributes that this arrogance may be part of what fueled the events of 9/11; but America missed the danger in what they were doing and therefore never saw it coming. Starting on September 12, 2001, the country stopped referring to the lives lost as victims of a crime, but as casualties of a war. The war had come to American shores and that was difficult for many Americans to believe. Balzar argues the America of September 10 ceased to be that America on the morning of September 11 (Balzar, 2001). His assessment is valid. America prior to the attacks was unprepared and the people were self-involved, never imagining that anyone ever would or ever could change the invisible and untouchable United States. Of course 9/11 changed all of that.
He explains that this tragic attack has cemented Americans, focused their resolve and has spurred the fires of patriotism. Balzar is adamant that this single event had a uniting effect among the American people. Many negative issues of race, socio-economic class and gender were no longer a matter of contention as American had a single enemy to hate together. As a nation we were shocked, saddened and shocked, but more than anything else, America was angry. Angry that these terrorists were able to gain access to 4 different planes at the same time, that they could so easily turn those planes into weapons and that these terrorists chose relevant American targets to maximize damage, deaths, and outrage. This was very much one of the first times, since the American Revolution, that Americans were in strong support of an aggressive American response (Balzar, 2001).
America has been involved in many wars; some supported others more controversial, from the World Wars to Korea and from Vietnam to Dessert Storm. However, this was the first time since Pearl Harbor that America was on the receiving yet of such a large and devastating attack. However, while there was an unacceptable loss of life at Pearl Harbor, much of the losses were geared toward the military posted there, however, 9/11 was an attack unaware civilians; making the loss of life more dramatic. The World Trade Center towers, were not military targets, in fact, The Twin Towers held a number of differing businesses, including accounting agencies, law firm, and, even a restaurant. It was the loss of these everyday Americans that truly frightened the public and roused their awareness (Balzar, 2001).
It is amazing just how quickly a single moment, one day among hundreds could have such a profound effect on the whole of a society, but it is obvious 9/11 did exactly that. The resolution of the American people was highly focused on the enemy, which changed the paradigm of the United States for all time. The author said that, “our world is diminished. It is in the hands of the single-minded now. America, though stunned, will not cower. It staggered but will prevail” (Balzar, 2001). This new America is looking to the future and fighting back against the terrorism that has been visited upon them. 9/11 began like any other morning and in a split second the world is nothing but smoke and disaster. It has and will likely remain the most memorable, saddening and tragic of all American history.
“Terrorists Hijack 4 Airliners, Destroy World Trade Center, Hit Pentagon; Hundreds Dead”
9/11 is the one event that may represent the “day that will live in infamy” for the 21st century. In 2001 the United States was not doing too badly. One of the greatest concerns was rather the world would end with The Millennium; just as many believe the year before when 1999 became 2000. That said the morning of 9/11 was probably like any other, when the first plane hit the towers, everything changed. It did not matter if you were a New Yorker watching from a safe distance or from their homes or in California; every American across the nation was in shock and horror. Terrorists had through very detailed planning, were able to hijack the planes, alter their courses to reach the targets and successfully and intentionally kill hundreds of people in a short period of time, this created fear and anger among the American people. Michael Grunwald, in his article for the Washington Post, which focused heavily on the shock and awe of this tragic event (2001).
Most people can remember exactly where they were when that second plane hit the second tower or the shocks of seeing these monolithic buildings come crashing to the ground; diminishing the hopes of finding survivors. As of the morning of September 12, there was still uncertainty as to how many lives had been lost, who had committed these terrorists acts, and what happened to the fourth plane that crashed in Pennsylvania countryside. American was in absolute turmoil, because, again, nothing like this had happened in the United States since Pearl Harbor preceding America’s entry into World War II (Grunwald, 2001).
The evidence at the time showed that the four hijacked planes took flight from California and loaded with enough fuel to make the flight successfully to the Eastern Seaboard. There is little doubt that this plot was well-planned and took a great deal of preparation. Most Americans remain shocked that anything like this could ever happen, and the reality of it has left most people stunned. The actual numbers were slowly being released; first and foremost was the loss of the plane passengers, totaling more than 200, were killed in the attacks. It would be confirmed that the loss of life was more than 2,000; the bulk of which occurred in the World Trade Center wreckage. Even before the Muslims extremists were identified or claimed credit for the acts, the United States government was already considering dissidents in the Middle East (Grunwald, 2001).
The support that President George W. Bush began to receive was immense, and fortunately, his reactions were quick and concise in responding to the attacks and working to help focus and secure the American people. Regardless of individual citizens politics and party affiliations, the bulk of people were onboard with his plans and intended actions Also, the amount of Americans were invested and dedicated to the tragedy, from coast to coast, Americans were glued to their televisions and radios listening for current news on the lives lost, the side effects of the attacks, and the measures being taken to respond to the terrorists that caused so much devastation and death (Grunwald, 2001).
In the end, 9/11 will forever and always be a historic tragedy that no American will ever forget and it will be remembered and taught as one of the most defining moments in the life of the United States of America. That we as a nation are not untouchable and we still must be prepared to fight for the country that we call home and protect it from anything that even resembles the widespread and destructive consequences of 9/11 can ever happen again. The events of September 12, 2001 are significant and are relevant to the mentality, emotions and focus of the United States and its people in the midst of such tragedy.
Balzar, J. (2001, September 12). God Have Mercy, War Has Come Home. The New York Times.
Retrieved January 29, 2015, from http://articles.latimes.com/2001/sep/12/local/me-44890
Grunwald, M. (2001, September 12). Terrorists Hijack 4 Airliners, Destroy World Trade Center,
Hit Pentagon; Hundreds Dead. The Washington Post, p. 1. Retrieved January 29, 2015,
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