On one hand, it might be a sign of the dwindling effects of 9/11 on me that when I saw my first flag at half-staff today I briefly wondered who had died.
On the other hand, as soon as I remembered the date I felt really bad and remembered the horror of that day.
So, at least for me, it’s still a very big deal. I’m not sure if it will ever not be one, for me.
According to John Mueller at the Cato Institute, apparently, many people not only still feel strongly about it, but they still feel terrorized.
In November 2001, about 35 percent of the public were very or somewhat worried that they or a family member would become a victim of terrorism. A decade later, 34 percent profess the same fear. And 75 percent consider another major attack in the near future to be very or somewhat likely, about the same as in early 2002.
I’m not one of those people, but I can understand that it still has a strong emotional pull that I’m sure affects people’s estimates of risk. It also affects their willingness to comply with stupid responses. As Mueller also notes:
Since the public remains terrorized, it seems likely to continue uncritically to support extravagant counterterrorism expenditures, including incessant security checks, civil-liberties intrusions, expanded police powers, harassment at airports, and militarized forays overseas if they can convincingly be associated with the quest to stamp out terrorism.
That’s another tragedy.