It was the summer of 2011 and my family and I had just arrived in the big city of New York. The city where everyone loves and believe it’s the “city of dreams.” 2011, ten years after 9/11. We looked like the typical tourist family standing in the middle of Times Square clueless on where to go next. There were attractions everywhere that we wanted to visit but we knew we wouldn’t go to all. We’ve never gone to a city this big so we were clueless on what to do, where to eat, where to shop, where to go? This is one of the biggest cities in the US, how do we not know where to go? It’s known as the city of lights. Building everywhere flashing different colors at you, the smell of the hot dogs roasting on a cart with a person behind yelling, “Get your hot dogs!” All you could hear was the distant conversation of passing strangers. It seemed like everything was moving fast and it was unstoppable. Everywhere you turn there’s something that immediately catches your eye. Our final decision after time spent wondering where to go was to get on one of those tourist buses and explore the city. We went to Chinatown, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and all the other locations in New York. At every place there were cultures and traditions that differed from the others. As we were going around the big city, we passed by where the twin towers stand originally before the attacks. It felt empty. As if you knew that something was missing. Who wouldn’t know that something was missing? All I could just think about was how 10 years ago, this was the location where people were running for safety, where people were jumping off towers, smoke and debris from the attack were beginning to blind the citizens running. No one felt safe. There was no safety on this day of September 11th, 2001. This terrorist attack was the most tragic terrorist attack in American history. This changed America forever and it would never go back to how it originally was. Buildings were falling, people were dying, sirens were wailing; it was all a big mess. No one really knew what was going on until they watched the news and immediately began to panic, I mean, who wouldn’t? We were all under attack!
At first we were surprised to see construction around the area where the towers were originally at. “I wonder what they’re building?” my sister asked. They made a stop at the area of the construction and explained everything. From all they remember from the day of the attack to now. Ten years later. At this time the city was planning on constructing a new tower to be called, the Freedom Tower. I was shocked because I would figure that they would just want to have the memorial of all the lost lives in the terrorist attack but instead they were building this tower. I knew that there was a 9/11 memorial museum but I just thought that it would’ve been better and more special if they did it at the sight. But I started thinking about it more. I began to think of what this tower was going to represent to America and I came up with the conclusion that this future tower is supposed to represent what America is as a nation. Everyone knows America as the land of the free so that’s why I thought more about it and I came up with the conclusion that what they’re building here is perfect. As one of the biggest and strongest nation in the world, it holds great patriotism like no other nation could. No matter what happens to us, there’s something that we will always have and it’s something no one else can take away from us. Freedom.
The screams, the horror, people panicking and running all over the place. It was one of the biggest and strongest change for American history; our patriotism was taken away from us as we were in a weak stage of mind but it was something we would never get rid of. The commotion made it impossible to know what was going on, what was happening. All I heard were sirens left and right. What just happened? Why is everyone freaking out and where is all this smoke and dust coming from? America has just been attacked. The strongest nation in the world just got attacked but by who? It was too early to tell and all you could think about is to run and get somewhere safe. The 9/11 attacks occurred on September 11th, 2001. Footage of attack
With 19 Islamic militants in the terrorist group al Qaeda,they hijacked four airlines and were on a mission to attack the United States. Two of the four planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, third plane hit the Pentagon, and the fourth plane crashed outside a field in Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 American lives were lost on this day making it the biggest and worst terrorist attack in American history. It was early morning on the day of the attack, people went to their everyday jobs expecting a normal day. It wasn’t until an American airline was hijacked and crashed into the 80th floor immediately killing hundreds of people and trapping the ones on the above floor. Many pedestrians and citizens thought of it as just an accident by the pilot and some people also believed that it was possibly a suicide attempt by the pilot. But why? The pilot is flying an airplane with possibly near 100 people, why would he want to kill them also? 18 minutes later. The second plane crashes. This is when America realized that they were under attack. The terrorist group al Qaeda, was in retaliating against America because of our involvement in the Persian Gulf War with Israel. At this time, president George Bush was reading to a second grade class, Emma T. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota Florida. George Bush didn’t want to make a huge scene in front of hundreds of children and their parents so he continued to read for the next 16 minutes. Following he went to a holding room and started answering his calls and prepared his presidential speech about the terrorist attack. Starting with “Ladies and gentlemen, this is a difficult moment for America…terrorism against our nation will not stand.” to ending it with a moment of silence dedicated for the families and American lives lost from the attacks. This wasn’t the end of the attacks yet. al Qaeda had more in plan. At approximately 9:38, Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon killing a little over 100 workers and leaving many injured. At approximately 10:03 the fourth and final hijacked plane, Flight 93, was on route to the White House for the final attack. However, a passenger revolt attack to the pilot causes the plane to get off track and eventually failing it’s route and crashing into a Pennsylvania field causing a big explosion killing at least 44 people, 40 passengers and 4 hijackers. It was a turning point in American history because citizens first were panicking and acting chaotic but they began to think and soon came up with a plan to seek vengeance and prove their patriotic loyalty to their country. However this tragedy goes into being the worst terrorist attack in United States history and America would never be the same. Never. Video on 9/11
Ever since the tragic terrorist attack, America has focused a lot in improving their National Security to prevent future events to leave us anarchic. Many people have supported the improvement of National Security but there have been others who don’t support it due to privacy and a waste of time and money our government is spending. Everyone knows that the NSA can go through our phone calls, emails, and other important personal information that we want to remain private but they claim to do it for safety. Going through our phone calls was one of the starts of the improved NSA while they are capable of, “recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls…as long as a month after they take place.”(Gellman/Soltani) Many people obviously are going to argue that this goes against their rights and it’s not fair because they are breaking into the individuals privacy without one single warning, but what the NSA wants people to see is that they are surveying to see if they catch a phone call that can eventually bring danger to the cities of the US. Not only does the NSA enjoy to go through our phone calls, but they have also used social media as another way to go through the privacy of Americans. Facebook is used to communicate with others that you sometimes don’t have the opportunities to communicate with but they are also “violating Facebook user’s privacy,”(Dawson/Bloomberg) and even Mark Zuckerberg, the creator and founder of Facebook, does not appreciate what the NSA is doing. He believes that by the NSA going through peoples accounts and being able to read through messages and conversations is so unfair to the users. The NSA is trying to find any way possible to get information from Americans that can be classified as a threat to the society. Airports have flourished with the new security ideas since it’s the quickest way danger can enter America but people are starting to believe the “cost of such measures would not be justified, considering they would not completely eliminate the threat, meaning that all the money that the government is spending on airport security isn’t even going to do anything with terrorist entering the country and believing that it’s a huge waste of money spent.”(Martin) It would however lower the threats but never completely eliminate the threats because people will find loopholes and ways around the security and after that, airports can’t do anything about it anymore. The NSA has come a long way since from the beginning and going through people trying to fight against because “expressed concerns that continuous electronic monitoring could intrude into individuals’ private lives, prompt flawed investigations and put sensitive personal data at greater risk.”(Gillum) They choose to go through our calls, messages, and more because that’s the way they can actually get down to find something that could be danger provoking to our society. The NSA knows that people are really against it and want to do everything they can’t to riot against it. The more people will complain, they obviously won’t stop but they will at least try to fix the problems. ”The outgoing director of the National Security Agency lashed out at media organization…to properly analyze the NSA’s broad surveillance powers.” (Ackerman) It was after the Snowden surveillance incidents when people were thinking about how unfair they believe that the NSA is doing to the privacy of American citizens. As time is going on, the NSA is always trying to find better way to improve and with Becky Richards who has, “been at NSA for about six weeks now and, from certainly what you’d read in the newspapers, it sounds like there aren’t a lot of protections in place. But I’ve been really impressed by what are the existing privacy and civil liberty protections that are in place.” (Jtozer) She begins to prove to the person interviewing her that the NSA isn’t a bad thing as what people have been believing because she wants to get the rid of the rumors and how people see the NSA as a “bad thing.”
National Security is integral to the maintenance of the security of the American people. The filtration of potentially hazardous individuals entering our country should be strictly regulated so that no question is raised as to whether the security of the American individual is jeopardized. It shouldn’t bother you or concern you if you’re at an airport and you get stopped, questioned, and get a full body x-ray. Modern technologies such as full body permit for the thorough evaluation if you are caught being suspicious. Throughout airports in the United States, it has now become protocol for passengers to go through full body x-rays. Many people find this as “unfair” but it’s done for the safety of American civilians. No one wants the tragedy that happened on September 11th to happen again so the new protocol helps prevent and avoid this. No one likes being stopped and have their time wasted to be searched even when they are innocent but it’s just done for the safety and many people don’t understand that. When 9/11 occurred, airport security wasn’t enforced strongly so it was a factor into how the terrorists were able to hijack the plane. If the security was further enforced then there would’ve been a smaller risk into what happened on this tragic day. The naturalization process has evolved to become more nebulous than ever before with potential candidates for naturalization having to wait for 7 years for their documents to be processed. It shows that America is being more strict into searching who will enter the country. The American country doesn’t want dangerous people to be walking around the cities risking the lives of American citizens. People must have a clear record of no felonies and can’t be married to receive the documentation of their Visa. The strict regulations can be seen as unfair to some people because they might be innocent and just want their documentations to enter the United States and cause no danger towards any other American citizens. However, everyone should ender the same evaluation process no matter race, creed, or skin color. Muslims are targeted and stamped as terrorists but not every muslim is a terrorist. It’s unfair to them how some people think that about them because it’s similar to being branded like cows on how their represented. They have like a stamp that says TERRORIST and it’s not fair to them. No matter what they are branded like that and they don’t deserve it. When the same protocol is done to everyone, it prevents that all Muslims are seen as terrorists and everyone has to go through the same procedures to get their documentation. National Security is ultimately the most important factor that contributes to our safety as American citizens. If it wasn’t for the National Security then there would be more danger in the streets of our cities and having it strong, helps people feel safe where they live.