How Has the United States Changed in the Post 9/11 World?

Without a doubt, September 11th, 2001 is one of the most important days in the history of the United States, if not the world. Not only did the most severe terrorist attack in the history of this country occur on that day, it forever robbed the American people of the safety that they could feel on their country’s soil, and instilled constant paranoia and anxiety about the safety of their home nation. As more years pass since that fateful day, the more people forget about what the pre-9/11 world looked like, and overlook how the state of our country over the past 18 years is a far cry from what it was prior to 9/11.

The most apparent change, one thing will most certainly come to the mind of anyone who can clearly recall living in America prior to 9/11, is the amount of emphasis placed on natural security. There is a significantly stricter vetting process for immigrants who wish to enter the country, greater safety precautions are taken by architects, coupled with greater regulations put into place for fire safety, and the increased scrutiny at airports. In the interest of national security, drastic measures have been put into place in order to ensure that airport security can never be compromised in the same way again. To fund all of these security measures, the budget for national security significantly went up, and special taxes were declared in order to collect money in order to both pay for reparations, and bolstering safety measures.

There is a great deal of polarization in America today - just as there always has been. However, a social change that has arisen as a result of 9/11 is the strengthening of a sense of unity between people on both sides of the political spectrum. America, arguably, never saw a more patriotic time as the months following 9/11, and people of all different backgrounds, holding contrasting beliefs coming together with a clear, common interest. This unification between Americans of all different beliefs is still somewhat present today, and such bipartisanship would likely not be present if not for the tragedies that this brought unto people on both sides of the aisle.

Not all social changes following 9/11 were for the better however. There has been a statistically-backed increase in the amount of religious intolerance and discrimination geared towards Muslims living in America. Due to the attack having been carried about by Muslim extremists, there is a great deal of mistrust accorded to them, which has arisen as a result of the mass panic and paranoia among the American public. Such discrimination has sadly not been eradicated, and has only manifested due to the wars in the Middle East having not yet ended, with many of them having started in large part due to the 9/11 attacks.

This nation’s youth can hardly, if at all, remember a time in America when there was not such a great deal of scrutiny imposed upon people who wished to travel, and when there wasn’t such a level of religious intolerance. It is important to note the differences that have arisen in this country as a result of 9/11, While a sense of political unity was established following 9/11, and is still somewhat present today, there is a necessity to be reminded of this tragic day. At times, we lose sight of what keeps us together - being Americans, with the best interests for the country’s safety at heart.