chapter  8
8 Pages

Aon

On September II, 200 I, lives in the United States would be changed forever when four hijacked planes took Americans' feelings of security and invincibility away. This was confirmed with planes hitting and destroying the World Trade Center and partially damaging the Pentagon. The last hijacked plane, which departed from Newark, New Jersey, crashed in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. This day of infamy demonstrated America's vulnerability to terrorist attacks. These attacks brought about an unprecedented stoppage of U.S. air travel and closure of all U.S. stock exchanges. Suddenly, bomb scares and bridge and tunnel closures became regular occurrences in New York City and across the nation. Nearly 3,000 civilians lost their lives due to this act, with the brunt of the losses in New York. Although this act of terror replaced the feeling of security with fear, Americans and New Yorkers especially showed resilience by going on with their daily lives. In the face of adversity, Americans responded with courage and determination, and above all, unity.l

The World Trade Center was a symbol of America's power and capitalism. The twin towers were dedicated in 1973 and quickly became the symbol of New York and American icons. The World Trade Center complex consisted of Tower One (north) and Tower Two (south) and numerous smaller buildings. The twin towers were now the most recognizable buildings in New York, and the World Trade Center was deemed the financial capital of the world. The World Trade Center Complex, owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, housed 500 businesses with approximately 50,000 employees. This office space included brokerage firms, airlines, television stations, banks, law firms, chapels of various faiths, and an un-

derground shopping mall. On an average day nearly 200,000 visitors from all over the world visited the complex. This made the World Trade Center a lucrative site to cause mass destruction.2