The Impact of 9/11: Twenty Years Later

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Photography, Alysah Charlet

Herrin Fire Department honors the victims of 9/11

This year marks twenty years since one of the most tragic events in U.S. history. As the years go on, the impact left by 9/11 still shakes the nation. Many people of the newer generations may have been too young or not even born yet; however, the aftermath of the event still shows throughout society today. 

Before 9/11, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) did not exist. While security was low during that time, today every bag is checked thoroughly. Arriving early, going through the metal detectors, and getting your bags scanned became a precaution of travel still used today. 

As today’s generation grows, the media has become increasingly popular and harsh. The rates of violence and racism against Muslims have soared ever since 9/11. These negative feelings of hate have always existed but increased considerably after that day. Instead of fueling the hatred and fear this country has of others, new generations are focusing on refueling the love for one another.

The majority of Americans, who experienced the incident, remember exactly where they were and what was happening. The band director at Herrin High School, Mr. Lewis, had only been a teacher for two years at the time. He remembers teachers informing him about the situation and watching the events unfold on the tiny old television. Remembering the moment, Mr. Lewis recalls, “Disbelief. It was like watching a movie.” Two decades later, people still remember the very first feeling they had after watching the attacks streaming live. After the incident settled down, Mr. Lewis recalled feeling “very sad and lonely,” as did many other Americans who witnessed the events.

This generation was not able to witness everything that happened firsthand. As these children have gone through school, they have watched countless documentaries about 9/11, including videos of the day itself. Even though they weren’t present, these people still feel a deep sense of sadness whenever this time of year approaches. In the minds of young people, the incidents feel like they should’ve been a lifetime ago, but it was only twenty years ago in reality. In this day of age, the whole world still continues to mourn the losses of that day.

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