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September 28, 2021

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Brief on September 11 events, actions, effects

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are the focus of the Fall 2021 semester’s first Critical Questions, a series developed by student Fellows at Ohio Northern University’s Institute for Civics and Public Policy (ICAPP) that explores a wide range of relevant and timely topics commanding the public’s attention. The series’ purpose is to offer unbiased research and facts about emerging issues for people to consider.

“Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11” (full content at this link) details how those events unfolded; describes key legislative, military and security actions that resulted from the attacks; and highlights some of the lasting societal effects. Additionally, Critical Questions considers the impact on college-age students, most of whom had not yet been born by the time the attacks occurred.

The brief recalls President George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” campaign and his pledge: “Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.” “The Iraq war became another front in the global war on terror and would see troops committed to that mission until 2011,” the students write.

As for those who have never known an America that has not been at war, some ways of life precipitated by 9/11 are simply part of lifelong established protocol for them. “For members of Generation Z,” ICAPP students explain, “many changes that occurred as a result of 9/11 are accepted as commonplace today,” such as stringent airport security measures and Patriot Act-related surveillance enabled through government intervention and enhanced technology. “News outlets also adjusted their reporting to focus more on international events,” Critical Questions notes, and collective patriotism increased.

The Critical Questions series takes place under the direction of ICAPP’s founding director and political science professor Dr. Robert Alexander, who is often called upon for his analysis relating to American politics and has published extensively in the field. He and the student authors are available for comment. The authors are Hailey Trimpey from Bowling Green, Ohio; Kennedy Aikey from Newark, Ohio; Andrea Hoffman from Lewis Center, Ohio; and Drew Mantenieks from Westerville, Ohio.