How Terrorism Has Affected The Modern Day USA

Emerson Marquez, Opinions Editor

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Since the turn of the millennium, terrorism has been on the mind of every US citizen due to its increased occurrences during the past few decades. After the September 11 attacks on the US, the United States president at the time, George W. Bush, declared “War on Terror” during a reactionary speech in which he sent America to war with Al-Qaeda following the September 11 attacks in New York.

After the infamous attacks on the US on September 11, the US came together as a country to mourn for those who had died. People put aside their differences and worked together to make the country safer. Many people organized candlelit vigils and moments of silence across the country, from Honolulu’s Waikiki beach to New York Cities Union square park. The grief was immense. Across the nation  2,996 people had lost their lives during and after the attacks.

Some of this grief turned into anger to those who had caused this unimaginable loss of so many innocent people. And some people like Reverend Jerry Falwell made national headlines for saying on his television program “The 700 Club” that “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way–all of them who have tried to secularize America–I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’” But for the most part the blame was put onto people of Arab descent living in the USA. In the first few days after the attacks many innocent people who were thought to be muslim were assaulted and in some rare cases even killed.

Even with the increased violence things were done to protect the nation for the future, and to this day some of those laws passed have helped stop terrorism in America. George W. Bush was able to win a broad mandate in defence of the nation. They also passed the Patriot Act which gave investigators a good deal of headway in their domestic surveillance activities and made laws harder on immigration.

But even with these protections being put into place, there is still danger to American citizens living here or even abroad. There have been eight major terrorist attacks in the US since 9/11. One of those incidents includes the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida where American-born Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 58 during his rampage. There was also the San Bernardino attacks where a married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tasheen Malik, opened fire on a Christmas party at the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health.

Even with these attacks affecting many innocent people, the American people have been able to push through during these hard times in our history. Many attacks like these have shaped our nation and what it stands for, freedom is why we created this nation and freedom is the reason why we choose to live in this nation. And there are people who try to take this right away, but the spirit of the American people will always live on.

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