9/11 Impact Lingers 16 Years Later

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Drawing by McKayla Hackman

Drawing by McKayla Hackman

Drawing by McKayla Hackman

Samantha Baltzell, Production Manager

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When tragedy struck on Sept. 11, 2001, our nation was changed but not for the better. Planes crashed into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, killing more than 2,996 people and affecting our nation as a whole. Fear filled our nation as citizens watched the attack on news stations.

Babies born just after 2001 were too young to remember the attack, but parents, teachers, workers, and citizens remember everything like it was yesterday. Some remember what they were wearing. Others remember where they were standing or what they were doing, but Melissa Langbehn, News Channel 9 television news anchor, remembers exactly how she produced and wrote her news broadcast for that night.

“We knew what we were going to do when we came in for the meeting,” said Langbehn. “We wound up cutting away at five o’clock and started our five and six o’clock newscast because there were so many things that were happening here that were tying in with that.”

Langbehn said that churches around town held services for citizens who wanted to go and she even went out to interview at airports to get travelers’ opinion on the tragedy.

Before that day, our nation had a sense of security. Parents could let their children go to their friends houses without worries about what could happen. Public events could be held and security wouldn’t be standing around every corner. Boarding a flight only required a ticket and a quick scan, not waiting in line for an hour to get through security.

Today, parents are extra cautious when they allow their children to go to public events even with numerous police officers monitoring the area to make sure everything goes right. Just because a situation appears safe doesn’t mean it truly is. There is always something that can go wrong.

Whether in some way indirectly related to 9/11 or not, schools have also increased their security measures as well. Any drills at school were used to prepare for fires or tornados. A local parent said they never had to practice hard lock downs for an active shooter as a child. Now there are a drills about school shooters and intruders along with fire and tornado drills. Again, these observations may or may not be due to an act of terrorism, like 9/11, but it is little doubted that the world is different.  

Like added security measures in schools, a general rise in the level of concern for our security exists. Some even argue that walking on the streets at night or going to a concert is different now than it was 10 years ago.

After 9/11 the government wound up introducing more than 130 pieces of new Legislative information into the Patriot Act in the year after the attacks along with the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act. These two acts that were introduced made sure that all visa and immigration information had to be shared between states.

The Aviation and Transportation Security Act was also enacted to protect all modes of public transportation and ensure that they were protected by the federal government. The government implemented new safety measures which is why we all have to go through security when we want to board a plane.

The government also created the Department of Homeland Security which helped safeguard the United States from terrorist attacks. Millions of dollars were put into our security systems in order to help keep us safe.

The government may have put all of the new acts into our systems, they won’t be able to stop terrorism completely. While you can always kill a person but you cannot kill an idea.

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