Changes in America Since September 11, 2001 Term Paper

Total Length: 958 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 0

Page 1 of 3

alarm woke me up. Crawling from bed to bathroom and back to bed, I lay there wishing I didn't have to go to school or work. I crept to the desk and turned on my computer before even thinking about getting dressed, eyes still half shut and glazed from a lack of sleep. Internet Explorer launched, automatically loading the Yahoo! Portal, where I half-heartedly read a handful of top news headlines, a brief local weather report, and checked e-mail, as I liked to do first thing in the morning. I thought nothing much of the odd yet typically newsworthy photo of a plane hitting the first World Trade Center tower. Must be an accident, I thought. Some small private jet veered off-course, its pilot perhaps drunk. "Plane hits building,' the headline read. "Terrorism suspected." Nothing surprising there; terrorism was a household word far before September of 2001. Terrorists bomb boats and buildings all the time. Even if it were terrorists, big deal -- they hit an indestructible edifice on a suicide mission. We're indestructible, impenetrable. No one attacks the United States.

By the time I got to work both buildings had fallen. The world changed that day. It changed the psyches of almost every resident of the United States and perhaps the whole of North America. It changed the political and economic landscapes of the world, turning stable balances of power into shifty, tenuous uncertainty.
It changed, or rather ended, the lives of millions of people in Afghanistan and Iraq. September 11 changed media discourse and popular rhetoric.

Three years after the disaster, terrorism has gone beyond being a household word. Terrorism is now a political keyword, a hypnotic response word, even a word laced with racial and religious overtones. When the word is uttered, most people in the United States don't think of Colombia or Sierra Leone. They think of Saudi Arabians. Iraqis. Palestinians. Just about anyone who is, or even looks, Middle Eastern.

The term September 11 evokes far more than planes hitting the Manhattan twin towers and the Pentagon buildings, evokes far more than three thousand civilian lives lost in a day, evokes far more than the largest foreign attack on United States soil since Pearl Harbor. September 11 will from now on be a date that, like July 4, cannot be dissociated from its semantic significance. Just as July 4 means "Independence Day" and barbeques and summer fun, September 11 connotes terrorism, fear, and George W. Bush. In the wake of September 11, the public has all but forgotten to question the whereabouts and wheelings and dealings of the Al Qaeda organization, which claimed responsibility for the attacks. September 11 changed the world by giving the Bush administration a blank check with which to write off the lives of Iraqi people -- because presumably there was.....

Have Any Questions? Our Expert Writers Can Answer!

Need Help Writing Your Essay?