Remembering 9/11: How the U.S. Coped With the Financial Setback
Twelve years ago on Wednesday, four passenger airliners were hijacked as part of a coordinated terrorist attack launched by Al Qaeda. Two of the those planes — American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 — crashed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m., EDT, and 9:03 a.m. respectively. The third hijacked plane, American Airlines Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon and the fourth, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after its passengers attempted to overcome the hijackers. Excluding the 19 hijackers, the attack resulted in the death of 2,977 people, of which a great majority were civilians.
September 11, 2001 is now a date that will live in infamy in the history of the United States. More people perished that day than the number who died in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and it was the highest one-day death toll on American soil since the Battle of Antietam during the Civil War. The attack spawned two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have left another 6,000 Americans dead — and it left a permanent mark on almost every part of American life: from new travel restrictions to the Patriot Act to the American financial system.
In Lower Manhattan, the physical scars of the attack have begun to diminish. The new World Trade Center, a memorial to the complex that was destroyed, has begun to take shape, with the 1,776-foot skyscraper — 1 World Trade Center — now the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. But the United States States, as an institution and as a people, is still feeling the aftereffects of a decade of upheaval. The attack on American soil left the country feeling more vulnerable than it had since Pearl Harbor, ushering in an new era of overseas intervention that launched a wave of anti-Americanism. It pushed defense spending to 20 percent of the federal budget by 2010, sending shock waves through the financial markets.