The attacks of September 11, 2001 immediately made a difference in the world, leaving an impact on the people in it, including the 2,848 that made up the city of Amery. Although two decades have passed, there are still persistent effects of devastating terrorist attacks, which have not spread.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was set up 11 days after the attacks.
DHS oversees national strategy and national security. It was created to defend the country against another large-scale terrorist attack and by 2002, the office achieved cabinet-level department status due to the National Security Act passed by Congress.
This department is responsible for counter-terrorism tasks, as well as national security and disaster prevention. It has grown exponentially since its inception, becoming the third largest department of the federal cabinet.
Shortly before the 9/11 attacks, meetings were taking place at Polk Countys Government Center between county employees, then Emergency Management Coordinator Richard Fabrinni and then Sheriff Ann Hrychuck.
The meetings continued after 9/11 to inform employees that plans exist and to deal with events in New York and the impact on all of us, Hrychuck said in a press conference and was reported on 18 September 2020 by Amery Free Press.
During the meeting the Sheriff recalled that the price increase that was seen in petrol prices after the attacks was really illegal and should be reported.
She said there had been an increase in calls to the Sheriff’s Department, in part because of the particularly difficult time the attacks had caused for those with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Prior to 9/11, extensive airport security checks did not exist. This is because before November 2001, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) did not exist. The TSA was created as a direct result of the 9/11 attacks, and strict security measures have not been lifted in almost 20 years since its conception.
You can not say goodbye to your loved ones right after they enter the sky bridge on a plane and welcome them home with a hug directly at the gate.
Airplane cabin doors are also now protected to keep pilots safe, and the screening process has increased in screening and size.
New technology has evolved to make it even easier for airport security officers to find limited materials, and advanced screening methods and background checks have accelerated travel for those willing to show up.
Prior to 9/11, many news organizations were cutting international news reporting and foreign reporting. After the attacks, more stations devoted more time to news from around the world.
Also after the attacks, David Westin, then president of ABC News, ordered the network not to show the plane hitting the second tower many times so as not to “disturb” viewers, especially children, something that was not common at the time. “People can dive into it a lot and I’m especially worried about the kids,” he said, according to the AP. “We all need to be concerned about children and how they can process them.”
In local news, a week after the attacks Palmer Sondreal wrote about the attacks on his weekly column. Are there any words left unsaid after the terrible tragedy that struck our nation last week? I do not think so, but it still remains my right to express my humble opinion about the incredible attack on our way of life.
First, it is impossible to adequately convey the deep pain and anxiety I feel for the innocent victims of our way of life.
Second, it is beyond my ability to explain why a loving God would allow such a hateful act.
Third, if we stop in horror, we will fulfill the mission that was created to destroy our nation and the freedoms we have taken for granted for many generations.
Before 9/11, many had not heard of a “War on Terror,” but in the days, weeks, and months following the attacks, that phrase became commonplace, along with several other phrases. As Ranker noted, “Never forget,” “Internal security,” “Axis of Evil,” and “Alert Terror” were all phrases that stemmed directly from 9/11.
Until recently, the United States had a consistent military presence in Afghanistan. Shortly after the attacks, the United States, under President George W. Bush, began bombing Afghanistan in October 2001 after the Taliban-led government refused to oust suspected terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.
By November, a number of countries, including the US and the UK, had formed the Northern Alliance and taken control of the capital Kabul. Until last week, the U.S. still had troops stationed in the country working to help the government rebuild itself and stabilize.
The Armed Forces reported an increase in registrations after the attack.
Amery resident Joe Vierkandt, who was stationed in Iraq after 9/11, said: “When I reflected on 9/11/01, I told others that I was vindictive and that I wanted to take the war to the enemy. I welcomed the war.
He said that now with 20 years of maturity, experience and knowledge, he was probably ashamed or could not understand the truth. Thoughts and feelings of anger were most likely a defense mechanism to suppress his emotions.
He said, I did not want to apologize to those who were in the tower. What would cross your mind if you decided to jump off the towers instead of burning alive? The fee was unimaginable. Destroyed families. Mothers mourn the cries of loss. Poor children. Are you ready for death?
Vierkandt felt a sense of doing more, a deeper conviction to defend. He was already serving in the National Army Guard during 9/11. He changed the path of every soldier. The war of my generations against terrorism began. I applied and was selected for a Scout / Sniper platoon. I attended the Army Sniper School, crossed over and settled in Iraq, he said.
His initial thoughts were that they were sent to defend the United States. Over time and learning from war experiences, I gained a sense of protecting Iraqis who were being killed in the definitions of genocide. The enemy would slaughter and torture those who tried to adopt the ideals of a democracy and freedom. Freedom. Freedom is an inalienable right given naturally to giving birth to an American for whom others would fight and die, Vierkandt said.
He said, It will be 20 years since that terrible day that changed the world. I am sorry for those who died and lost. I am not willing to allow the mentality of the victims to be the only thought as the bells ring during the 9-11 ceremony. A victorious mentality thanks and praises the heroes who ran in Flight Cabin 93, the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon, and later in battle in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Vierkandt said he can imagine there is another generation asking for their service. I have so many leadership questions. Could I have done more? Could we have done more? I hope and pray that our soldiers find peace and understanding. I pray for the fighters who died heroically trying to save others in Afghanistan. I realize that again I have a sense of anger when we see the children of our Nations die. Maybe I still welcome that fight, he said.
Vierkandt said, We are only the home of the free because of the brave. Thank you to all who serve with honor, and God bless America.
There seemed to be an increase in patriotism after the attacks. Many Americans expressed how they felt there was an increase in pride in their country after a horrific shared experience.
“We tracked down patriotism, spirituality and religion, and giving to charity and volunteerism right after 9/11,” Cary Silvers, NOP World vice president of consumer trends, told NBC News in 2005. “All three appeared. Within about nine months “Volunteering was declining and religion, but what is left for us is patriotism, and it obviously feeds on a few things. The turning point was 9/11.”
Even the younger generation moved to a point of patriotism that had not been seen for a long time. Shortly after the September 11 attacks, then-Amery High School Principal Todd Alan Hammer wrote the following Letter to the Editor in words that may still seem true:
On September 11, 2001, life as America knew it changed forever, in just two hours. The citizens of this country, connected to the televisions, are fighting in despair for a reason, a kind of security that did not come. The only word to describe feelings; the sight of the smoke snake from the twin towers of the World Trade Center, was absolute-shocking horror.
Older generations of this country still remember the day, almost 40 years ago, when President Kennedy was shot and killed on the streets of Dallas. People still remember where they were when they first heard the tragic report and talking about it still tears. The same can be said of the Pearl Harbor bombing, in which 2,400 American men and women lost their lives on December 7, 1941.
Just as we overcame the assassination of President Kennedy and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, we will overcome this. These terrorists may have dealt a deafening blow to our country, but America will stand firm. America is its people and as long as we stay, so is America.
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