It was on a fateful day in September 2001 when the American landscape – both physically and figuratively – was changed forever.
Memories of the September 11 terrorist attacks still reverberate around the United States and the rest of the world a decade on.
As the nation mourned in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the spotlight shone firmly on the government and how it reacted.
How exactly did the government handle the disaster? Was the criticism of the Bush administration ultimately justified?
The War on Terror
Shortly after the attacks, President Bush and his administration declared what would later be commonly referred to as the War on Terror.
Joining forces with key allies from around the globe, the administration laid out the key objectives and goals which they hoped to achieve in the battle against terrorism.
These included targeting the extremist groups Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and the principal perpetrator of the attacks, Osama bin Laden.
While the killing of bin Laden in 2001 brought about a sense of closure to some, many Americans are still condemning the war in light of the countless soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan, alongside the counterintuitive notion of responding to violence with more violence.
The 9/11 Commission
A year on, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States was set up, with the dual purpose of compiling a comprehensive report on the circumstances of the attacks and also safeguarding the nation against future incidents.
The commission was never safe from further criticism however – many pointed to the fact that it was not a truly independent body, with members selected by the Bush administration itself, and reports of conflicts of interest among members.
The September 11 attacks continue to live long in the memory, with debates still raging about the effectiveness of political reactions. To hear more about the story, tune in to Fahrenheit 9/11 on the History Channel.