Theevents that took place on September 11, 2001 changed America in tremendousways.
Twenty years ago, when people are traveling at airports the extentof security was a tenth of a fraction of what it is today. The peoplethat were traveling used to never have to remove their shoes and people wereallowed to travel without passports outside of the country by using their ownbirth certificates. Today, times like that have changed and are only adistant memory, it feels as if traveling without a passport outside of thecountry is a made-up memory. Unfortunately, that is not a made-up memory,America’s security and identification systems were not as elaborate andextensive as they are today. Why did America change the way people fromall over the world travel inside and outside of the United States? Theanswer to this is that an event happened that changed history, changed thecountry’s security and reshaped America as we knew it, it is called 9/11. The events that shook the United States on September 11, 2001, affectedeveryone all over the country somehow. Schools shut down early, workplaces shut down early, and it was as if the entire world had stopped. The country faced one of the largest terrorist attacks it had ever seenat that point and it was just like the country hurt and the people hurt.
No one ever wanted to feel that way again, and that feeling is whatplanted the seed in several people’s heads about the need for HomelandSecurity. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks unfolded, there was a lot of pressure that wasput on the government about the security, safety, future of the country andwhere it was headed. At the time, the president of the country was GeorgeW. Bush and he decided to create an entire department that would be dedicatedto the security, safety, and many more issues related to the protection ofAmerica and the people living in the country. Therefore, “In 2002 theBush administration sponsored its own proposal and on November 19, 2002,Congress passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002” (Perl, 2018). Thenewly passed act’s purpose was to minimize and prevent terrorist attacks inAmerica and provide assistance for the recovery of any terrorist attacks that wouldoccur. Shortly after the Homeland Security Act of 2002 was passed, onNovember 25, 2002 the Department of Homeland Security was created with theassistance of this act. This newly formed department was created toconsolidate all the governmental units related to homeland security under oneroof and make it easier for these agencies to work together and collaboratewith one another.
The department was designed to protect the UnitedStates from terrorist attacks, but the Department of Homeland Security is alsoinvolved with protecting the country from natural disasters. Now, someonewith a background in homeland security would be needed to be in charge and runthe department so, “The president, George W. Bush, named Tom Ridge, formerdirector of the Office of Homeland Security, to be secretary of the newDepartment of Homeland Security created by the act.
The Senate confirmedRidge’s nomination” (Perl, 2018). To continue, with the creation of theHomeland Security Act of 2002, and the Department of Homeland Security thecountry as we knew it before was changing. The government was beginningto notice that there is an imminent need for homeland security in our country. There was a new created need for people to figure out how such an awfuland life changing terrorist attack was allowed to occur on American soil. The Department of Homeland Security needed to figure out how to prevent aterrorist attack of this magnitude could be avoided. The BushAdministration was helping to heal the nation and its people, instill hope inmany Americans and evade terrorist attacks from occurring on American soil.
The terrorist attack thattook down the twin towers in New York on September 11, 2001 illustrated to thegovernment that a need for Homeland Security in the country was necessary. Another governmental event came out of theseevents and opened the country’s eyes to new ways to protect America and keep itspeople safe; this is known as the Patriot Act of 2001. Furthermore, Patriot is an acronym and itstands for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate ToolsRequired to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism, this was announced by PresidentGeorge W. Bush on September 24, 2001, immediately following the terror attackson American soil. Later, this new actwas signed into law by President George W.
Bush on October 26, 2001. The particular focus of this newly createdact is to, “Provide law enforcement agencies with the proper legal authority tosupport their efforts to collect info on suspected terrorists, to detain peoplesuspected of being or aiding terrorists and terrorist organizations, to deterterrorists from entering and operating within the borders of the US and tofurther limit the ability of terrorists to engage in money-launderingactivities that support terrorist actions” (Bullock, 2016). Essentially, this act was also created toenforce and help support governmental agencies to protect the country in hopesof preventing another attack similar to the 9/11 attacks.
Althoughthe new Patriot Act was created to help protect citizens and instill a sense ofmuch needed Homeland Security in the country, many citizens were afraid thatthis Patriot Act would take away their privacy rights and civil libertyrights. This act allowed governmentalagencies to increase their surveillance capabilities everyone in the UnitedStates, especially video surveillance, communication surveillance, people’spersonal information and even take a look at people’s financial information andmedical information. However, the BushAdministration felt differently about the Patriot Act, in his own wordsPresident Bush said the act is going to, “Enhance the penalties that will fall on terrorists oranyone who helps them” (History.
com Staff, 2009). The act increased intelligence agencies’ability to share information and lifted restrictions on communicationssurveillance. In the end, the PatriotAct was an important moment in American history because it is another safetyprecaution that has come out of the terrorist attacks on September 11,2001.
The country and the governmentrealized that a sense of power and security needs to be established andrecognized among other countries and the citizens of America because theterrorist attack affected everyone in the United States that day some way oranother. TheDepartment of Homeland Security has learned how to evolve and form itselfthroughout the years and how it should act and report to the disaster zones intimes of need. It is one of the government’syoungest departments and continues to grow and evolve as the years pass by becauseterrorist attacks are evolving as well. Terrorist attacks are not only done through means of dangerous bombings,they can be done using weapons, chemicals, and even technology.
The country has generated a well-establishedneed towards the Department of Homeland Security and has benefitted greatlybecause of the lessons learned from the 9/11 events and the law that have beencreated due to the terrorist events that happened on that day. One example is the Boston Marathon Bombing,the country reacted immediately and knew how to handle that event. Governmental agencies knew how to come to theneed of those affected by the Boston Marathon Bombing because the Department ofHomeland Security was established and has improved and learned how to betterhandle a terrorist attack. TheDepartment of Homeland Security is a beneficial addition to the government andwill continue to be because of the way the world is changing every day.