11-year anniversary of 9/11 goes unrecognized by univ.
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 03:09
Freshman Casey Harsh said she remembers seeing smoke coming from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 as she looked toward Manhattan from her house on Long Island, N.Y. 11 years ago. “I saw the towers,” Harsh said. “I saw the smoke. I live in New York, but my dad was at the Pentagon when it got hit. As a second grader, [September 11] was scary.” Today marks the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and more than a decade later, Americans are still recovering from the events of that day, according to psychology graduate student Ben Barnes.
Barnes said most psychological researchers studied the effects of the terrorist attacks quickly after they happened. He said researchers found higher levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms in participants located closer to ground zero, though effects were found in others across the country and into Canada. He attributed this to TV coverage.
There has not been a lot of research about how students reacted to the event, Barnes said.
“My guess is that’s because it’s hard to make a direct connection between that event and students today,” he said.
For Harsh, the anniversary still holds meaning. Although the university does not have any memorial services planned, she thinks today should be memorialized.
“I remember my friends having to go to memorials and funerals,” she said. “It should be a day of remembering people’s lives.” Professor James Kendra, director of the university’s Disaster Research Center, said that the university was in the process of rethinking their emergency plan when the terrorist attack happened.
“At the time, we had been working on an emergency plan for the university plan before September 11 because of the Seton Hall fire,” Kendra said. “The fire alerted universities to the need for emergency planning, but I think September 11 galvanized people.”
Professor Joanne Nigg of the DRC said she thinks the event had a large impact on Americans initially after the attacks happened.
“It was the first attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor,” Nigg said. “Although it wasn’t in the middle of a war, it produced the so-called war on terror.”
Kendra said that he thinks Americans experienced a sense of fear because the attacks were a surprise.
“It was not an event that was considered to be especially likely,” he said. “It was considered a worst case scenario. The anxiety with September 11 was, ‘What’s next?’”
Nigg said that after the attack, Americans felt it was the government’s duty “to give us back a feeling of security and safety.”
She said over time people have become more comfortable because there have not been any follow-up attacks, even though a few terrorist plans were thwarted. Americans now take it for granted that they are safer, Nigg said, even though there have been many security changes as a result of the attacks.
Sophomore Ivan Arguello said he thinks Americans are afraid of another possibility of terrorist attacks.
“I think people are still scared to fly because of terrorists,” Arguello said.
Barnes said the attack has also resulted in more racial profiling.
“Right after [September 11] there was an increase in discrimination against Middle Eastern people but that reduced around 2004,” Barnes said.