Dr. Wayne Baker is back! His first column of the fall season …
How safe do you feel ten years after 9/11? This Sunday is the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Media floodgates are bursting this week in the buildup to Sunday, covering every possible theme, detail, and angle. It will be an emotional and heart-wrenching week as we relive the tragedy. (See film critic Ed McNulty’s overview of 9/11 films for more on the emotional scenes we will revisit as a nation.)
Meanwhile, we will see a strengthening of security in public places, transportation systems, power plants, major events, and other sites. Al-Qaida cited the tenth observance of 9/11 as a possible occasion to strike again. Or, it might be the time a lone individual or small group plans to strike.
National security is now a major priority—perhaps even an obsession. Keeping the nation safe and secure has become one of the top 10 core American values, as my national surveys at the end of the 9/11 decade have shown. A core value is a principle that is intensely felt, widely held, and stable over time. Indeed, 85% of Americans agree with this statement: “The protection of the United States from both internal and external threats is a major concern for me. “
Some Americans are so concerned about national security that they are willing to give up give up any freedom the government asks in order to protect this country’s safety. This is not a majority view, but over a third of Americans are so willing.
Are you willing as well?
Our society has undergone a lot of changes since 9/11, meant to protect the nation against threats to our security. I’m not sure if I feel safer or not. I certainly feel more inconvenienced, especially every time I go through airport security, shoes off, pockets empty, and nothing in my hand except a boarding pass.
This week on OurValues.org, we’ll cover a range of themes related to 9/11, with special emphasis on values. Today, tell us what you think about national security:
How safe do you feel ten years after the events?
Are you more concerned about security?
How far are you willing to go to ensure our safety?
A PERSONAL NOTE: My gratitude to the guest authors of OurValues.org who filled in for me during my absence in the last weeks of summer! If you haven’t read their insightful and provocative posts, please scroll down on the right to find them.