What 9/11 Attack Means to Me

Subject: American History
Type: Personal Narrative Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 820
Topics: 9/11 Attack, Self Reflection, Terrorism

In 2001, two American aircraft were hijacked by Al-Qaeda and slammed into the Twin Towers. As a result, about one thousand individuals were killed, and hundreds were injured. This event was termed the worst terrorist attack in the history of America. Such notions can be attributed to the fact that it was a demonstration that even the most powerful country across the globe is also vulnerable to terrorist attacks. The attack was also life-changing as some individuals lost their family members; those who survived are still traumatized by the events of the attack. The whole country was shaken, including me. Generally, the 9/11 attack aftermath was traumatizing and disastrous and served as a wake-up call for the US to increase its security.

Negative Impacts of the Attack

The emotional anguish triggered by the attack, especially the Twin Towers fall in New York, was overwhelming. I found myself comparing it with Pearl Harbor, which had happened in 1941, and concluded that the terrorist attack was way worse. This thought can be attributed to the World Trade Center location – the middle of New York (Smithe et al., 2019). Besides, a significant number of individuals witnessed the attack firsthand, including my uncle, who recorded the whole proceeding with a video camera. He is still devastated and overawed by the events. After the attack, a videotape of the happenings was repeated in the media various times. Based on the videos, there were sights of people troubled with sorrow meeting at “Ground Zero.” Some were also carrying photos of their family members and friends with the hopes of determining if they were dead or alive.

Another adverse impact is that world markets were affected. The towers were located at the Centre of the New York financial districts, and the damages experienced on the infrastructure of Lower Manhattan integrated with the stock market panic made markets in the district to be closed for four trading days (Kubickova et al., 2019). Even after this, the markets experienced losses. Most individuals were also stranded in the US since the airspace in the region remained closed for commercial aviation until September 13th. After this, normal service was restored with more strict security measures, which did not resume for various days. In my view, all these factors indicate that all countries are vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Therefore, there is a need to increase security measures in various states.

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Collaboration Towards Defeating Terrorist Groups

The 9/11 attack brought together various countries to initiate policies that effectively curb terrorism, including Iran, where thousands of individuals gathered in the capital for a candlelight vigil. The evidence we accumulated convinced the majority of governments worldwide that Al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks (Smith et al., 2018). I am aware that in previous years before the attack, the group was linked to terrorist attacks on Americans. Besides, Osama Bin Laden proceeded to make various anti-American statements. Al-Qaeda had forged a close relationship with the Taliban militia of Afghanistan, who refused the US demands of extraditing bin Laden and terminating the Al-Qaeda activities there.

Despite the attacks and their adverse impacts, I like how security was improved to help prevent any other terrorist attack. With the uncertainty and fears accompanying the events, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), for the first time, disregarded article 5 as it permitted most of its members to react jointly in self-protection against terrorists. I believe that it was this that made the US, on October 7th, 2001, in collaboration with the allied military forces, launches an attack against Afghanistan (Klenka, 2019). According to the documentaries, the operation effectively captured or killed many of the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants. Additionally, their leaders were forced to go into hiding, which crippled most of their operations. Terrorism was made to be a focus of the US as the country focused more on tracking down other terrorist agents and sympathizers across the globe. For me, the attack was an awakening call for the country to increase its security. This was evident since the security measures within the country were increased, especially in places like government buildings, airports, and sports venues. Congress also proceeded to pass the USA PATRIOT Act, which ensured that appropriate tools needed for interception and obstruction of terrorism were provided. The act also saw expanded search and surveillance powers of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security in tracking down potential terrorists.


The 9/11 attack of 2001 was a shock to most individuals across the globe. It was a Wednesday that was marked as one of the most tragic events in the US and other governments across the globe. The impacts of the attack were long-lasting economically, emotionally, and politically. However, despite the challenge, the US government’s reaction to the attack was decisive and swift, especially since some new policies and regulations were implemented to help prevent such attacks in the future. I believe the 9/11 attack was a wake-up call for the US to improve on their security and investigations on terrorism.

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  1. Klenka, M. (2019). Major Incidents that shaped aviation security. Journal of Transportation Security12(1-2), 39-56. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12198-019-00201-2
  2. Kubickova, M., Kirimhan, D., & Li, H. (2019). The Impact of Crises on Hotel Rooms’ Demand in Developing Economies: The Case of Terrorist Attacks of 9/11 and the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management38, 27-38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhtm.2018.10.002
  3. Smith, B. K., Stohl, M., & Al-Gharbi, M. (2018). Discourses on Countering Violent Extremism: The Strategic Interplay between Fear and Security after 9/11. Critical Studies on Terrorism12(1), 151-168. https://doi.org/10.1080/17539153.2018.1494793
  4. Smith, E. C., Holmes, L., & Burkle, F. M. (2019). The Physical and Mental Health Challenges Experienced by 9/11 First Responders and Recovery Workers: A Review of the Literature. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine34(6), 625-631. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1049023x19004989
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