The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

“The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store”: American Progress
“The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store”: American Progress
Abby Edwards, Scoop Writer • May 3, 2024

In “The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store” by James McBride, It is no secret that Chicken Hill is a place of struggle, and in 1930, Jews and African Americans had to depend...


The Aftermath of 9/11

On the 11th of September, 2001 one of the worst tragedies in American history occurred: four planes that were hijacked by the terrorist organization Al Qaeda crashed into the northeast states of the U.S. The following impact was massive, nearly 3,000 people died, billions of dollars were accrued in damages and an entire nation was unsettled. The resulting aftermath of the attack left the American people angry and yearning for a response to the attack perpetrated by the Middle Eastern terrorist group Al Qaeda. 


Economic result of 9/11

The September 11th attacks of 2001 had a disastrous effect on the nation’s economy. The airline industry was in ruins, multiple banking companies were economically destroyed and the stock market was shut down. In total, 598,000 jobs were lost and the GDP fell by 0.5 percent. Many people say that the Iraq War also contributed to The Great Recession of 2008, due to the U.S. borrowing large amounts of money. However, over the following years, the economy recovered and was booming. 


America’s Immediate Response

The United States Government had a big problem on their hands: how would they respond to the devastating attack? The first instinct of President Bush was to attack Afghanistan and behind him was the full bipartisan support of the American people. The following conflict came to be known as ‘The War in Afghanistan’. The United States Government, in alliance with NATO and the UN, established their goal in the war to be the elimination of all terrorists in Afghanistan, more specifically the elimination of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. They carried out these goals over the span of nearly 20 years, from October 7th, 2001 to August 30th, 2021. The biggest accomplishments of the onslaught were the successful elimination of Osama Bin Laden in 2011, during the Obama administration, and the temporary toppling of the Taliban-ruled Islamic emirate. Despite these achievements, the war was brought to a stop by the Taliban’s reemergence to power. It remains among the longest international conflicts,  in the history of civilization, with a resulting 130,000 total casualties. 


 A few years after the invasion of Afghanistan, the United States, led by President Bush, attacked Iraq. Although heavily criticized by democrats, he still went through with the war. The Iraq War was from 2003 to 2011 and ended with the withdrawal of American troops from the region. Most consider the biggest victories of the war to be the execution of Saddam Hussein and the overthrowing of his regime. However, the war was criticized by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, revealing that the war was built on a false basis. The war ended with 70-110,000 deaths and an unknown number of wounded soldiers. 


Reconstruction and Memorials

The city of New York was in ruins after the attack; some of its most notable buildings, like the World Trade Center buildings, were destroyed. And yet the American spirit prevailed and with determination the city rebuilt itself. Realtor Larry Silverstein helped transform the World Trade Center into a complex with multiple shorter buildings. Although still in construction, it is still an improvement from 9/11. Several other buildings that fell, such as the St. Nicholas Greek Church, have also been repaired over the following decades. 


Today, one can find several memorials across the nation that honor the lives that were lost during or after the attack. At the Flight 93 National Memorial, one can see the names and pictures of those present who died on the Flight 93 plane. In addition, the exact spot where the plane crashed, marked by a boulder, is visible. The Reflect 9/11 sculpture in Rosemead is a sculpture made of the rubble from 9/11; it contains 3,000 steel cutouts, which represent each person who died in the hijackings. Another famous memorial is the 9/11 Museum located in New York City. It contains a full summary and timeline of the events of 9/11. It remains one of the most prolific places to contain such an in-depth record. These places are a constant reminder to appreciate life and the unexpectedness of death.



As said by the former New York mayor, Rudy Guiliani, “The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.” This perfectly describes the American spirit as the nation continues to remember the lives lost on September 11th, 2001. The soul of a country in pain is stronger and more unified than that of an organization devoted to hatred. And in the end, it will always be that which will prevail over all.

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Ayush Shah
Ayush Shah, In-Depth Writer

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