Tuesday, September 11, 2001 has certainly become one of the most notable days in the history of the United States and, to a considerable degree, of the entire world. The tragic event shocked the people all over the globe, and its reverberations are felt to this day. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the world changed that day, never to be the same again.
To be precise, 9/11 is the name of the most massive and destructive terrorist attack in the history. 19 al-Qaeda terrorists simultaneously hijacked 4 passenger airliners and used them to crash into symbolic American landmarks: the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. The fourth liner moved in the direction of Washington, D.C., presumably to be crashed into the White House or Capitol building. However, a number of passengers and flight attendants fought the terrorists back and in the ensuing struggle the plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, never reaching its intended target.
In addition to claiming the lives of almost 3,000 people and causing astronomical property damage, 9/11 caused long-lasting political, social and economic consequences, changing the very nature of society we live in. Most obviously, it resulted in the direct opposite of what was envisioned by its organizers: instead of forcing the Americans to steer clear from Middle Eastern region, 9/11 served as the immediate catalyst for the invasion of Afghanistan that ousted Taliban government from power in a matter of months, and the Iraq war. Although the main organizer of the attack, Osama bin Laden, managed to stay in hiding for almost a decade, he too was eventually hunted down and killed in 2011.
What is more important, 9/11 was the day when the entire world understood probably for the first time how serious the terrorist threat was. It made the world leaders reevaluate the importance of anti-terrorist protection and preventive measures and led to unified effort of national security agencies all over the globe.
However, in the USA the changes were probably the most notable. 9/11 led to greatly tightened legislature in everything dealing with national security. Immigration laws were reworked, new security practices in airports were initiated, it became much harder to relocate and naturalize in the United States, the number of deportations of criminals from the country was greatly increased, the National Security Agency was allowed to wiretap personal communications and so on. Of course, not everybody is happy with this turn of events, believing it to be the infringement of innate human liberties. The majority, however, seems to agree that these are the necessary measures to make sure nothing on the scale of 9/11 ever happens again.
Finally, 9/11 has turned into a very important day of remembrance, called Patriot Day. It symbolizes all people killed by terrorism, and American people do everything to make sure it stays remembered. Exactly ten years after the tragedy the national 9/11 Memorial was opened at Ground Zero, to serve as a physical reminder of all the deaths that occurred that day.