By Kristina Udice, courtesy of thisisinsider.com
It’s been 17 years since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
Although more than a decade has passed there are still some lingering effects of this devastating terrorist attack that haven’t dissipated.
From increased security to a permeating mentality, here are some of the lasting effects of 9/11 that we still feel today.
1. There’s continued military presence in Afghanistan.
One of the most persistent effects of the 9/11 attacks has been the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Shortly after the attacks, the United States under President George W. Bush began bombing Afghanistan. Because the Taliban-run government refused to give up suspected terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden, the United States began bombing the country in October.
By November, a number of countries, including the US and the UK had formed the Northern Alliance and had taken control of the capital Kabul. But almost two decades later, the United States still has troops stationed in the country working to help the government rebuild itself and stabilize.
President Trump announced in 2017 that he would increase the number of troops in Afghanistan by 3,000, bringing the number of troops to 14,000.
2. Airport security has gotten a lot stricter.
Before 9/11, long lines at the airport and extensive security checks didn’t exist. And that’s because before November 2001, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) didn’t exist. The TSA was created as a direct result of the 9/11 attacks, and the tight security measures haven’t let up in the almost 17 years since its conception.
Cabin doors on airplanes are also now protected to keep pilots safe, and the screening process has increased in scrutiny and size.
New technology has evolved to make it even easier for airport security officials to find restricted materials and advanced screening methods and background checks have expedited travel for those willing to submit.
Overall, air travel has become safer as a result of the attacks. But there are those that worry the increased security allows for potential racial profiling.
3. The Department of Homeland Security was created.
The Department of Homeland Security was created 11 days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The DHS is an office put together by a number of appointed officials that oversees national strategy and national security. It was created to protect the country against another wide-scale terrorist attack through the use of information gathering and department-led investigations.
By 2002, the office achieved Cabinet-level department status because of the Homeland Security Act passed by Congress.
This department is responsible for anti-terrorism tasks, as well as national security and disaster prevention. It has grown exponentially since its creation, becoming the third-largest federal cabinet department.
Today, this department has a major influence on security and terrorism prevention across the country.
4. There’s been security increases outside of airports.
The airport isn’t the only place where you can feel the increased security presence. In fact, this security increase has impacted most American businesses and schools, with added security features like automatic-locking doors and keypads.
Before 9/11, it was much easier to gain access to office buildings across the country. At most, it would require you to sign in at the front desk and wait to be retrieved by the correct party. But now, it’s not so easy.
Visitors now have to be registered at a security desk, and employees need a special key code or badge to gain access to the building.
Similarly, most government buildings and prominent institutions have barriers that prevent vehicles from crashing through.
5. There was an increase in pervasive racism and religious bias against Muslims.
According to a Pew Research Report, 15 years after the attacks on 9/11, assaults against Muslims in the US increased by almost 50%.
Similarly, another survey conducted polled Muslim individuals in the United States and found that 75% say that there is significant discrimination against Muslims.
The survey also found that 50% of those polled found it harder to be a Muslim in the United States in the last 10 years.
6. There’s been an increase in deportations.
After 9/11, the Bush Administration arguably ramped up deportation efforts and increased immigration restrictions in response to the attacks. According to ABC News, deportations have doubled in the last decade — and criminal deportations have increased at an even higher rate.
From 2001 to 2012, there was roughly a 400% increase in criminal deportations, reports ABC News. It’s important to note that while most of the people deported were charged with a crime, they were not necessarily convicted of one.
7. It added new terms to our vocabulary.
Before 9/11, you probably never heard much about a “War on Terror,” but in the days, weeks, and months following the attacks, that phrase become common, along with some other phrases.
As Ranker noted, “Never forget,” “Homeland Security,” “The Axis of Evil,” and “Terror Alert” were all phrases that directly stemmed from 9/11.
8. There was an increase in surveillance.
Passed 45 days after the 9/11 attacks, the Patriot Act expanded the government’s authority over phone and email communications. In the name of national security, this act made it easier for the government to closely watch Americans.
Law enforcement and government agencies got more access to thousands of phone calls through National Security Letters issued by FBI agents, which allow agents to obtain personal information from others. Though these led to some convictions, less than 1% were related to terrorism, according to the ACLU.
9. It changed the way we get our news.
Before 9/11, many news organizations were cutting down on reporting international news and foreign reporting.
But after the attacks, more and more stations devoted more time to news from around the world, according to The Pew Research Center.
Also following the attacks, David Westin, then-ABC News president ordered that the network not show the plane hitting the second tower too many times as to not “disturb” viewers, especially children, something that was not commonplace at the time.
“People can become too immersed in it and I’ve been particularly concerned about children,” he said, according to the AP. “All of us need to be concerned about children and how they can process it.”
10. There was an increase in patriotism.
Much has been written about the seeming increase in patriotismfollowing the attacks. Many Americans expressed how they felt there was an increase in pride in their country following a shared horrific experience.
But this was also seen in other, concrete ways. The Armed forces reported an increase in enlistments following the attack. Other organizations saw an increase in volunteers. People waited, sometimes needlessly, in line to donate blood. Though some have argued this patriotism has given rise to a dangerous nationalism, others see the seeming increase of patriotism as a good thing and something that spans all ages and races.
“We tracked patriotism, spirituality and religion, and giving to charities and volunteerism right after 9/11,” Cary Silvers, NOP World vice president of consumer trends, told NBC News in 2005. “All three popped up. Within about nine months, volunteering was down and so was religion, but what has stayed with us is patriotism, and it’s obviously fueled by a couple of things. The shift point was 9/11.”