September 11, 2001 – Part Four
Mary E. Latela (September 11, 2015)
On this crystal clear morning in 2015, television reports of the Terrorist Attacks of 2001 are running. Moment by moment, that morning has been re-played. It is quiet here, but as we know, after a tragedy, there may be numbness, confusion, before definite emotional reactions can form.
Today we remember. However, the first day was only the beginning of a period – still passing as I write – of war, of our troops engaging with perceived enemies. There had been tension already, and the announcement of President George W. Bush heightened or ameliorated, depending on your perspective, your tension level. His announcement that we would find and destroy the enemy was in sharp contrast to the stillness – in NYC, in D.C., in Pennsylvania, and throughout this land – after the attacks.
The death toll of September 11, 2001 needs to take into account those first responders, those people going into work, the children left at daycare whose parents did not come to take them home, the families, the communities, many lives shattered.
The twin towers
Year the World Trade Centre was built: 1970. Number of companies housed in the WTC: 430… Number working in World Trade Centre on average working day prior to 11 September: 50,000 … Average number of daily visitors: 140,000
Number killed in attack on NY, in the Twin Towers & in aircraft that crashed into them: 2,823 …Number of days underground fires at World Trade Centre continued to burn: 69 … Number of victims identified by New York medical examiner: 1,102
Number of people still classified as missing from the World Trade Centre that day: 105, Number of people who died when American Airlines flight 11 from Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles, California, crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center: 92, Number of people who died when United Airlines flight 175 from Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles, California, crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center: 65, Number of people who died when United Airlines flight 93, from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, California, crashed in rural southwest Pennsylvania: 45, Number of people who died when American Airlines flight 77, from Washington to Los Angeles, crashed into the Pentagon: 64, Number of people killed in the Pentagon: 125
Number of survivors rescued from Ground Zero: 0
Number of orphans created by the 9/11 attacks: 1,300, Number of babies born to women whose husbands were lost on 11 September: 17. Increase in PTSD among Manhattanites post-9/11: 200 per cent, Estimated minimum number of New Yorkers suffering from PTSD as a result of 9/11: 422,000. Estimated number of the city’s public school students suffering from PTSD as a result of 9/11: 10,000
Number of days after 9/11 that Bush signed the Aviation Security Act requiring all checked-in bags to be screened for bombs and explosives by January 2002: 39
The financial cost
Value of US economy: $11 trillion … Estimated cost of attacks to US based solely on property losses and insurance costs: $21billion ..Estimated total losses to the world insurance market from the World Trade Centre: £25bn-£50bn
Days after 9/11 that the US military began bombing Afghanistan: 26 …Number of US bombs dropped on Afghanistan in the following six months: 22,000 … Estimated Afghan civilian death toll from US bombing campaign so far (they’re still bombing): 3,125-3,620
Increase in 2002 budget defence spending that President Bush signed for on 10 January 2002: $30bn http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/aug/18/usa.terrorism
During this time when we recall the horrors of September 11, 2001, we ought to pause and think about the ultimate cost of war – not in money, but in the lives of our military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. As of August 2,  4,683 brave Americans have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since the fighting in Afghanistan beginning on October 7, 2001 and the invasion of Iraq which began on March 19, 2003. Of the total deaths, 3,708 were due to hostile fire, and the remainder due to non-hostile actions (such as accident, suicide, or illness).
Wounded in Action
According to usmilitary.about.com, “30,490 U.S. service members have been wounded due to combat actions in Iraq and 2,309 in Afghanistan (32,799 total). The Army experienced 22,948 (70.0%) of those casualties, the Marine Corps 8,721 (26.6%), the Navy 656 (2%), and the Air Force 474 (1.4%).
“The Army had 1,515 officers and 19,664 enlisted Soldiers wounded in action. The Marine Corps had 420 officers and 8,178 enlisted Marines WIA. The Navy experienced 35 officers who were WIA, and 621 Sailors. The Air Force statistics include 44 officers WIA and 430 enlisted Airmen WIA.“Active duty personnel comprised 26,056 (79.4%) of the WIA, with 6,743 (20.5%) Guard/Reserve personnel WIA”
However, one point must be made. The cost. of war — any war — is high. “The price tag is not measured only in dollars. It’s measured in the loss of the most valuable asset of all — the price of war is measured in the loss of human lives.” http://usmilitary.about.com/od/terrorism/a/iraqdeath1000.htm
Many survived the wars, but they are coming back with severe injuries, brain trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, amputated limbs, horrific burns. Their healing may take a long, long time. And as a nation, will we ever be truly healed?