If you ask people in the United States which historical event was the most significant in their lifetime, 76 percent of them will say it was the September 11, 2001, attack on the Twin Towers, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The terrorist incident, in addition to marking collective memory, had domestic and international political repercussions.
9/11 still touches the wound of local nationalism. “There was a union hitherto unprecedented,” he explains to Brazil in fact Reed Welch, Professor of US Politics at Texas A&M University. Who benefited from this historic approach was then-President George W. Bush, who saw his approval rating rise from 51% to 91%. “What has changed? Well, we were attacked and the president, regardless of who he is, is a reflection of the ‘personification’ of the country”, says the professor.
From a practical point of view, what most changed in the lives of the population as a result of the attack was the issue of national security.
It was from the episode, for example, that the Federal Aviation Administration, the civil aviation agency of the United States, became responsible for the security of flights and airports in the country. This, of course, comes at a price: since 2003, any passenger traveling domestically or internationally has had to pay the “September 11” rate, which was recently readjusted to US$5.60 (R$29) per way.
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“Traveling has never been the same after 9/11, and not just in the US. The global security apparatus has grown a lot since the attack, and we know that we basically live in a state of super surveillance because of that,” says the Professor Sandhya Shukla, professor at the University of Virginia, where she has conducted, since 2008, a course focused on what happened.
“This tragedy has crystallized some tensions that the United States has already experienced with the rest of the world, especially with regard to immigration, diasporas and religious fundamentalism,” says Shukla to Brazil in fact.
The direct association between the attack and Islam is still a mistake made by much of the population. Another survey, also by Pew Research, showed that 41% of Americans believe that those who are part of the Muslim religion are more likely to be violent than individuals of other faiths.
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Despite the political and economic consequences, the attack also had a psychological cost. “Immediately after 9/11, the pain and darkness were so great that it was difficult to even talk about the United States,” says the professor.
On September 11, 2021, the celebration in homage to the victims continues according to the script, bringing together family members of the victims of the attack in Memorial Square to read, aloud, the names of the people killed in the attack.
Joe Biden’s participation in the tribute ceremony was virtually certain, but popular appeals could change the Democrat’s agenda. Nearly 1,800 relatives of victims, first responders and survivors are urging Biden to refrain from attending any memorials for his refusal to make public documents that some believe might show a link between Saudi Arabia’s leaders and the attacks.
In an executive order, the White House has mandated that documents on the Sept. 11 investigation will be reviewed and released within the next six months if they do not pose a “national security” risk. Relatives of victims of the terrorist attack are suing Saudi Arabia, a country that is an important US ally in the Middle East, for alleged aid to terrorists.
Edition: Thales Schmidt