18 years ago, the United States was changed forever.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 killed 2,996. Our nation came together like never before, all flights were grounded, and George W. Bush signed the USA Patriot Act, which ramped up security. Most can probably tell you where they were, what they were doing, and what the wore that day. I was sitting in my 2nd grade class about to head to recess when our teacher, visibly shaken and crying, told the class what had just happened. I remember returning home that afternoon and my parents just looping through the footage. You couldn’t help but watch, and even at a young age I knew everything was going to change.
So what exactly has changed in the last 18 years?
After the attacks, crude oil prices skyrocketed and are still in the process of rebalancing. In 2001, a barrel of crude oil cost $21.84 per barrel. A decade later, that price quadrupled to $95.73 — the highest on record since 1860. By 2017, the price had tapered to $48.05 per barrel, more than double what it had been before the terrorist attacks.
As one would guess, this was the most immediate and obvious change as a result of the attacks. Just two months after the attacks, Congress passed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which then created the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), federalizing airport security.
The changes also came with stricter guidelines for both passenger and luggage screening. This included only ticketed passengers being allowed to go through security, liquids that were restricted or banned, as well as making travelers remove their shoes.
Airplanes themselves also underwent a security overhaul, adding fortified cockpit doors and some airlines dropping first class cabin curtains.
After the attacks, the U.S. embarked on the longest military campaign in its history in an effort break the Taliban’s grip on Afghanistan. The conflict has claimed 111,000 Afghan lives and 2,372 U.S. lives. The war continues to this day.
In the wake of the attacks, there has been a rise of illnesses that are linked to the event. Illness include respiratory and digestive diseases, cancers, and post-traumatic stress disorder. CDC established the World Trade Center Health Program in 2011 as a way to better track and treat the patients and report symptoms tied to the 9/11 attacks. Since then, 87,484 people have enrolled and of those, 1,744 have died. Most are responders and are between the ages of 45 and 54.
After some initial squabbling, the Senate recently passed a bill ensuring that the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund will be supported for decades, hopefully alleviating the financial burden associated with surviving the attack.
As the 18th anniversary of the September 11th attacks approaches, we must take a moment to reflect, thank, and never forget those lost and our first responders who gave up everything for our country.
About the Author: Taylor Genter
Taylor is the Marketing Specialist at Extract with experience in data analytics, graphic design, and both digital and social media marketing. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater. Taylor enjoys analyzing people’s behaviors and attitudes to find out what motivates them, and then curating better ways to communicate with them.