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Friday, September 9, 2011

TEN YEARS AFTER SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS, HOW LIFE HAS CHANGED

The victims were from the United States and many other nations. It was the worst terrorist attack in American history. But for many people, the event does not feel like history. Today, we hear some of the ways the 9/11 attacks changed lives around the world.
The attack on the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers not only destroyed those buildings, it changed the personality of the surrounding neighborhood. In the past ten years, the area has moved away from its business centered past to a family friendly area now called the Diaper District.
Stephanie Hryckowian is the daughter of a Ukrainian immigrant who owned the Beekman Deli. The family business served office workers from the Twin Towers for twenty-five years. Then, the 9/11 attacks changed her life forever. She remembers her reaction to the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden: “When the president said they got Osama, I sat there crying, because I was so happy.”
Nearby is one of the office buildings formerly served by the Beekman Deli. Like many older buildings in Lower Manhattan, its businesses left after the September 11 attacks. It was then developed into housing. Lower Manhattan is now home to fifty-six thousand people. That is more than two times the number it had ten years ago.
Real estate agent Luis Vazquez is among the newcomers. He says: “Today, the Financial District has the highest concentration of households with children in the city."

There are so many families in Manhattan´s Financial District that The New York Times newspaper has called the area the Diaper District. It is not uncommon to see mothers pushing baby strollers down the side streets.

Jocelyn Zoland is a mother. She saw one of the planes strike the World Trade Center. She says: “It’s nice to see that in the shadow of that there are all these children and there are all these activities, and it has become a wonderful destination. We’ll see if things change though.”
Ms. Zoland says that change could include millions of visitors to the area with the completion of a nine eleven museum at Ground Zero. In addition, tens of thousands of office workers will occupy Freedom Tower, a skyscraper being built to replace the Twin Towers.
Many other businesses are still closed. Stephanie Hryckowian says what did not disappear was the Deli’s responsibility to pay taxes and make rent payments through 2004. That cost her 500,000 dollars in savings. She now rents out her home and lives with family members.“We have no health insurance. We have no 401K. We have no retirement fund. We have nothing after 9/11.”

The United States answered the 9/11 attacks with a war against terror. First it sent troops to Afghanistan after the country’s Taliban government refused to expel al-Qaida leaders. Then, United States forces went to Iraq. The American-led invasion led to the overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
The American collective sense of security changed after the 9/11 attacks. Many Americans now feel vulnerable, not only to more attacks but also to new measures designed to prevent terrorism.
Travelers have faced increased security at airports over the past ten years. Some measures are still being questioned, but traveler Bob Dubois believes they are necessary: “I think it’s something that we need in this day and economy as it is right now with what’s going on. You never know what’s going to happen and the people that are out there, and I think that we need to do this.”
Civil rights activists took legal action against the Federal Bureau of Investigation earlier this year for reportedly using informants to monitor Muslims. FBI officials would not comment. But officials say they take action only when they suspect criminal behavior.
Ahilan Arulanantham of the American Civil Liberties Union says the FBI’s methods are too invasive. He says the nation’s founding fathers wanted to guarantee basic rights.
Steven Martinez works for the FBI office in Los Angeles. He says the United States still supports the goal of an open society, but the risk of terrorism is real: “If we want to maintain that sense of freedom, we’re always going to have vulnerabilities in places where people gather – theme parks, movie theaters, shopping malls. Those present opportunities for our adversaries and those are very, very difficult to secure.”
                                                                             www.adapted from voanews.com by Milton França

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