The acts of terrorism on the 11th of September in 2001 at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, Washington, DC were a shock to the country. It resulted in more than 2,800 people being killed, and thousands wounded. The intensity and severity of the attacks culminated in serious mental health concerns, extending beyond the immediate victims. The political and economic impacts of the invasion, which disrupted the economies of the Caribbean and Latin American countries, as well as the loss in immigrant jobs in the West, were also related. Because of the felt economic, social, and economic impacts of the incident, the United States government came up with various security policies on the incident aftermath in order to prevent the possible future attacks; some of these were successful, while others remained elements of criticism.
The country was faced by adverse economic impact; after the incident, the stock market was closed down for four consecutive days and was later reopened on September 17. The Dow closed at 8,920.70, which was a loss by 7.13%. The attack was further associated with the 2,000 recession, which began on March the same year. The economy had shrunk by 1.3% in the first quarter, and an increase in the unemployment rate was witnessed. By June 2003, the rate of unemployment in the country had reached 6%, a phenomenon that was linked to the affected economic activities and fear of investment in the country for security reasons.
Another impact of the attack was the loss of lives of many Americans, which resulted in grief among the survivors, who suffered from complicated grief, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, and Overall Anxiety. A study conducted by Neria et al. in 2007 proves that the prevalence rate of complicated grief among the 9/11 survivors was very high (251). The study involved 704 participants, who were either at the scenes of the attack or were relatives to the succumbed victims. 88.4% of them reported various symptoms associated with the disorder, with a total of 304 being screening positive for current complicated grief (Neria et al. 254). 70% of the people with the disorder symptoms were yearning for the deceased and refused to accept that they were gone forever. 62.7% were pre-occupied with grief, and this interrupted their normal functioning.
A key action that the government took after the incident was to create the 9/11 commission. A recommendation made by the commission was a need for improvement in port security. A chronology of the events that led to the success of the 9/11 attack indicates that the security measures put in place at the ports were quite inefficient (Department of Homeland Security). In response, the government installed the biometric screening systems, the surveillance devices, and the security patrol in all major airports. Transportation systems have also adopted a multi-layered security system that ensures passengers as well as their luggage is screened at multiple points. To further secure the borders, DHS has deployed several security personnel and technological devices to restrict entry (Department of Homeland Security). Another key recommendation made by the commission was increased incentives for information sharing. In order to implement this, DHS has created several fusion centers to serve as focal points for information receipt, analysis, and sharing between different stakeholders.
Department of Homeland Security. Implementing 9/11 commission recommendations. 2011, http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/implementing-9-11-commission-report-progress-2011.pdf. Accessed May 17, 2017.
Neria, Yuval, et al. Prevalence and psychological correlates of complicated grief among bereaved adults 2.5-3.5 years after September 11th attacks. (2007). Journal of Traumatic Stress 20(3): 251-262.