Disaster of 9/11 The world saw one of the most tragic terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. These attacks consisted of a series of coordinated terrorist suicide attacks upon the United States, predominantly targeting civilians. That morning, 19 terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. Each team of hijackers included a trained pilot. Two aircraft (United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11) crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, one plane into each tower. Both towers collapsed within two hours, followed by WTC 7 later that day. The pilot of the third team crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. Passengers and members of the flight crew on the fourth aircraft (United Airlines Flight 93) attempted to retake control of their plane from the hijackers. that plane crashed into a field near the town of Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania (Wikipedia, 2006).
These attacks on New York were captured live on handheld camcorders, and these pictures were soon broadcast around the world. Millions watched in shock as broadcasters showed the aftermath. Within the next hour, as the World Trade Center was being evacuated, the South Tower, the second to be struck, collapsed. Hundreds of emergency personnel, working at the scene to rescue survivors, were killed, along with those still inside the building. The North Tower collapsed half an hour later. Vast clouds of smoke billowed through the streets of lower Manhattan and terrified New Yorkers ran for safety. Survivors described scenes of great carnage and human loss, and Americans at home and around the world suffered anxiety over loved ones, and experienced shock over the traumatizing scenes (Research Paper 01/72).
There were 2,973 fatalities: 246 on the four planes (no one on board any of the hijacked aircraft survived), 2,602 in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon. Among the fatalities were 343 New York City Fire Department firefighters, 23 New York City Police Department officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers. An additional 24 people remain listed as missing.
In the aftermath of the attacks, many U.S. citizens held the view that they had changed the world forever. The Bush administration declared a war on terrorism, with the stated goals of bringing Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda to justice and preventing the emergence of other terrorist networks (Wikipedia, 2006).
It was by far the worst terrorist attack on American soil, conservative columnist George F. Will labeled it the most lethal terrorism in human experience. (enotes.com). The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission), an independent, bipartisan commission created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush in late 2002, is chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks. The Commission is also mandated to provide recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.
The destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 had all the hallmarks of a turning point in history. All of a sudden everything seemed different and nothing would ever be the same. However several security steps have been taken by the government to prevent any such disaster in future. Creating awareness among the public and preparing them to face such situation was also among the priorities. For instance, National Preparedness Month is a nationwide effort held each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and schools. National Preparedness Month 2006 is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The goal of the month is to increase public awareness about the importance of preparing for emergencies and to encourage individuals to take action (Ready.gov).
All through September and beyond, Homeland Security work with a wide variety of organizations, including local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to highlight the importance of family emergency preparedness and promote individual involvement through events and activities across the nation. In conclusion, it is essential that each and every individual all around the world be prepared and need to be trained to fight terrorism. It is not only the responsibility of a few people to safeguard the entire country. rather it is the responsibility of every one to fight terrorism.
enotes.com. 9/11 Attacks on America. 29 September 2006.
Ready.gov. National Preparedness Month. 29 September 2006.
Research Paper 01/72. 11 September 2001: the response, 3 October 2001. International Affairs amp. Defence Section, House of Commons Library, 29 September 2006.
Wikipedia, September 11, 2001 attacks, 2006. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 30 September 2006. .