Howard Zinn, an American historian once said “there is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people”. One such barbarous act in the history of the United States of America left the world eyes wide open towards the horrors of terrorism.
U.S. president Joe Biden on Friday took a step forward and peeped into the potential declassification of documents gathered during FBI’s investigation into the sep 11, 2001 attacks on the united states .
“When I ran for president, I made a commitment to ensuring transparency regarding the declassification of documents on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America,” Biden said in a statement.
On September 11, 2001, 19 radicals associated with the Islamic terrorist organisation, Al Qaeda hijacked four aeroplanes and carried out suicide attacks against the United States.
The targeted spots included twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 9/11 terrorist attacks took the lives of 2996 innocent people.
On The Day Of September 11, 2001
On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists boarded 4 flights. They carried box-cutters and knives through the security check post at three East Coast airpots. Few moments after the take-off, terrorists took the command over four planes and executed their plan in a sequential manner.
18 minutes after the first plane hit, the second Boeing 767—United Airlines Flight 175—appeared out of the sky, as a thunder stroke, turned sharply towards the World Trade Center and wrecked south tower near the 60th floor.
At 9:45 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters. Due to the crash, jet fuel from the Boeing 757 leaked which led to a huge inferno. It resulted in structural collapse of the giant concreate building. 189 people were killed along with 125 were military personal. The crashed plane carried 64 people.
At 10:03 am, the fourth flight United airlines 93 was hijacked about 40mins after take-off from Newark Liberty international airport, New Jersey. As the flight delayed, the passengers on board learned about the events unfolding in New York and Washington via mobile phones.
At that time, the passengers knew that the aircraft would be crashed as planned by the hijackers and they are not returning home. Passengers who were able to make calls spoke to their loved ones for the last time.
The plane then flipped over and sped in the direction towards the ground, crashing in a rural field near Shanksville in western Pennsylvania. The crash killed all the members on flight. Its intended target according to theories include the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland or one of several nuclear power plants along the eastern seaboard.
At 10:30 a.m., the north building of the twin towers collapsed into debris. Only six people survived the crash of the World Trade Centre. Almost 10000 others were treated for injuries, out of which many were severely wounded.
After the attacks, the then President George W. Bush, addressed the country people via television from the Oval Office. In his speech, he said, that the “terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”
Osama Bin Laden’s Letter To America
In November 2002, Osama Bin Laden wrote a “Letter to America”. In that he explicitly stated the Al-Qaeda’s motives for their attacks which mainly included support for the “attacks against Muslims” in Somalia, and pro-American governments in the Middle East being against Muslim interests.
Osama bin Laden who is said to be the mastermind behind the September 11, attacks, remained undiscovered until May 2, 2011, He was finally tracked down and killed by U.S. forces at a hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Then- President Barack Obama in June 2011 announced the onset of large-scale troop withdrawals from Afghanistan; it took until August 2021 for all U.S. forces to withdraw.
Following the 9/11 attacks and the waves of panic amongst the netizens, the US government formed The Homeland Security Act of 2002 created the Department of Homeland Security. It was brought into law and signed by President George W. Bush on November 25, 2002.
Currently, the Department of Homeland Security is a committee responsible to fend off terror attacks, border security, immigrations and customs and disaster relief and prevention.
Economic impact of 9/11:
The attack had drastically appalling effects on the US economy. U.S. witnessed the worst days in the history as all the institutes were evacuated including the New York stock exchange and remained closed till 17 September.
The day market reopened after 9/11 attack, it fell with 684 points. New York city alone lost 143000 jobs in the first three months. The major losses were in financial and airlines terms which contributed to almost 60% loss in employment, damaged caused to the World Trade Center was worth $60 billion. The cleaning of debris at Ground Zero costed $750 million.
Thousands of people working and living in lower Manhattan near Ground Zero were victim to toxic fumes and particles turning up from the towers as they burned and fell. By 2018, 10,000 people were diagnosed with 9/11-related cancer.
Over $7 billion dollars was given as a compensation to families of the 9/11 victims around 2001- 2004. On January 2, 2011 President Barack Obama signed The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act into law and fundings were renewed. Then on July 29, 2019, President Trump signed a law authorizing support for the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund through 2092.
On December 18, 2001, Congress decided to observe September 11 as “Patriot Day” in honour to memorialise the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
In 2009, Congress named September 11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance. The names of all 2,983 victims are engraved on the 152 bronze panels arranged where individuals were on the day of the attacks. The site was opened to the public on September 11, 2011, to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.
It was followed by the opening of “The National September 11 Memorial & Museum”, on the original World Trade Center site in May 2014. The Freedom Tower, on the original World Trade Center site, was opened in November 2014.