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9/11: Does America really remember?

By Kimberley Lau
Created 13/09/2008 - 16:52

Kimberley  Lau is a student in the University of Sydney's Masters Degree in Publishing. Along with her classmates, she is participating in the Webdiary community as a component of the final semester of the course. This is Kimberly's first piece for Webdiary.

9/11: Does America really remember?

by Kimberley Lau
Daily activities in New York came to a screeching halt as Americans, and those who lost loved ones on Sept 11, paused to remember the day Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked airliners and crashed them into the towers of the World Trade Centre.

At the New York Stock Exchange, traders bowed their heads in silence while at Ground Zero, names of the 2,974 citizens who died seven years ago were read. Even presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama put their politicking aside to pay respects to the victims.

A solemn day for most, however, terrorist attacks are no longer the nightmare that plague Americans' dreams, and are no more than a page in their history books and an annual mourning ceremony.

According to US-based pollsters Gallup, terrorism is not something that a majority of Americans worry about anymore.

A poll conducted with 1,022 adults in the country showed that only 38% of those interviewed were very or somewhat worried they will be affected by a terrorist attack.

“This is down from 47% last July, and from a high of 59% in October 2001, but is still short of a post-9/11 low of 28% in January 2004,” Gallup stated on its website.

Terrorism also does not appear to be a major factor when it comes to who they vote for as president in the upcoming elections. Only 12% of Americans consider it an important factor when casting their vote.

When quizzed on what they thought was the most important problem in the country in a separate survey, only 2% mentioned terrorism – down from 46% in October 2001, a month after the incident happened.

They felt that the most pressing issue was the dwindling economy, as many of them have been affected by rising gas prices.

More than 50% of those polled said they are more likely to vote for a candidate who would be able to handle the economy, as opposed to one who could protect them from terrorism.

With terrorism seemingly no longer on their radars and economy a priority, one has to wonder if the candidates’ campaign pitch on terrorism is still valid.

McCain, in this instance, would appear to have more to lose as 52% of Americans polled believe he will be able to tackle terrorism more efficiently than Obama, who is ahead of him in all the other policies including economy, healthcare, energy and taxes.

Has McCain wasted his time preaching to a choir that no longer cares?


Majority of Americans Not Fearful of Terrorist Attack
http://www.gallup.com/poll/110203/Majority-Americans-Fearful-Terrorist-Attack.aspx [1]

Americans Prioritize the Economy Over Terrorism
http://www.gallup.com/poll/108415/Americans-Prioritize-Economy-Over-Terrorism.aspx [2]

Obama Has Edge on Key Election Issues
http://www.gallup.com/poll/108331/Obama-Has-Edge-Key-Election-Issues.aspx [3]

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