The brutal attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 were one of the most tragic events in this country’s history. Thousands of lives were lost and many others were changed forever. Many families had their lives destroyed that day by the loss of their loved ones.
According to the final report of the “National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States,” a jetliner carrying a large amount of fuel had been hijacked and flown into the north tower of the World Trade Center (WTC). Not even 20 minutes later a second jet liner crashed into the south tower. Smoke rose from the towers after the collision of the planes.
A third airliner plowed into the western side of the Pentagon. A little while later, around 9:37 a.m., another airliner believed to be aimed at the White House had been forced down by heroic passengers who had been informed of the United States being under attack.
Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks. The total number of deaths in the attack on the WTC was even more than at Pearl Harbor. (Final report of the National commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States.)
The ruthless attacks left an untold number of victims injured or dead. And New York City and Washington, D.C. were thrown into chaos.
Rescue efforts were underway as the second plane crashed into the south tower of the WTC. Shortly after this both towers collapsed. A short time later another plane was flown into the side of the Pentagon starting a large fire and causing an explosion and creating a hole in the side of the building.
Military and other law enforcement groups around the country were put on alert. Special anti-terrorist groups were dispatched in many cities. They also evacuated “the United Nations” and “The Sears Tower” in Chicago as a safety precaution.
This was not the first time the WTC had been attacked by terrorists. In February 1993, a truck bomb was set off causing six deaths and stopping business for six months. However, the towers did not collapse in 1993. This attack was meant to scare the United States, keep them out of the Middle East, and try to stop its support of Israel.
On October 7th, less than a month after the attacks on the WTC, the United States sent war planes and cruise missiles to Afghanistan to assault Al Qaeda military locations and terrorist camps being supported by the Taliban regimes of those countries. President Bush reported in an address shortly after the attacks began that Great Britain, France, Australia, Germany, Canada and others joined in the strike in some way. About 40 nations joined in a coalition with the United States.
The air strikes against Afghanistan were followed by a ground attack. The United States helped, and assisted the northern alliance in the ground attack to destroy the current Afghan government, and by December 2001, the Taliban had been totally removed from power. The U.S. and other nations had begun an effort to rebuild the country.
The attacks on September 11, 2001 also had a major impact on the United States airline industry. Both United Airlines and American Airlines had both lost a plane in the attack. The U.S. Government ordered that the airline industry ground their planes for a week after the attacks. In response to the massive losses suffered by the airlines, Congress brought forth the “Air transportation safety and System stabilization Act.” This Act had been signed into law Eleven days after the attacks. The Act had been created to help and compensate airlines for their losses during and after the attacks and also to preserve the life of the air transportation industry in the United States. (West’s Encyclopedia of Law Copyright 2005.)
The first responders to start the rescue were the New York Fire Department (NYFD), the New York Police Department (NYPD), the Port Authority Police Department and the Mayors Office of Emergency Management (OEM).
No one had anticipated the possibility of a total collapse of the building. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were sent to one of four triage areas that had been set up around the perimeter of the building to treat the injured that had made it to the ground.
The people of the United States came together and became a much stronger nation after the attacks on September 11, 2001. Even after a stressful a painful rescue and the clean-up effort, and to the rebuilding of the site in New York, this horrible attack will be remembered for a very long time.
Information from :
“Federal Emergency Management Agency.” West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005. Retrieved April 25, 2010 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3437701768.html