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The Day The World Stopped Turning

1501 words - 6 pages

Five hundred thousand dollars is the estimated amount of money it cost to plan and implement the death of 2,977 people (CNN.com). 500,000 dollars is the amount of money that changed one nation forever. For some, it is hard to believe that this America is the same country as it was 12 years ago. In some ways, it is, but in most ways, the pre-september-11 America is almost a completely different America than the post 9/11 America. This country has changed in almost every way it can: technology, government, traditions, education, and economy. Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaida caused the cultural transformation in the United States through the terrorist attacks that they planed and executed on September 11, 2001.
Before September 11, 2001, America was a very different place. Anyone over 30 can tell you stories about the “day the world stopped turning”. People did not know the world to be scary and did not fear the unknown, as they do today. The government also did not have the laws in place that they do now a days. Doug Robinson says “… before 9/11 you could stroll to the gate at the airport without a ticket and greet family and friends as they arrived or see them off as they departed” (Robinson). The security in public places was very lax compared to the security in the post September 11, America. People before the attacks did not need to worry about their privacy being invaded. People did not need to go through hours at airport security, but rather walked in as if they were getting onto a school bus. “You could board a plane without having to remove your shoes or belt or some other article of clothing. You didn’t get frisked and exposed to full body scans by grumpy TSA agents and made to stand with your arms raised and legs spread as if you were being busted for drugs” (Robinson). Before 9/11, we did not know words like ‘Taliban or Al-Qaida’. We also had no clue who Osama Bin Laden was or what he was capable of (Robinson). The everyday American did not commonly know what terrorism was or how to describe it to a child. Fifteen years ago, we were not constantly at war in the ‘Middle East’, not that people now know where that is anyways. The nation before the attacks had no idea that someone would want to hurt innocent civilians going to work or school in the morning.
The day of September 11, 2001 was the day that people saw the world in a different way. That day was the event of a lifetime, and sadly, sure to be in all of the history books, as American Airlines Flight 11 flew straight into the north tower of the world trade center (CNN.com). “The building just sank down on itself, and tiled over. Then it all turned black; the smoke was all about me, you couldn’t see at all.” Says Mr. Ehevaria, being interviewed from the New York Times. People of New York and across the nation stood in shock or ran for their lives as the misfortune of the morning turned into the reality that a horrible accident had not happed, but rather a breach in our fragile, yet...

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