The United States has marked the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans and changed the lives of Americans in very significant ways.
US Vice President Kamala Harris honored the lives lost and heroism of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Saturday in her remarks at the observance event.
“What happened on Flight 93 tells us so much. About the courage of those on board, who gave everything. About the resolve of the first responders, who risked everything. About the resilience of the American people,” she will say, according to her prepared remarks.
“On this 20th anniversary, on this solemn day of remembrance, we must challenge ourselves to, yes, look back. For the sake of our children. For the sake of their children. And for that reason, we must also look forward. We must also look toward the future. Because in the end, that is what the 40 were fighting for: Their future. And ours,” Harris said, according to the remarks.
She also made an appealed for national unity at a time of heightened political polarization.
According to the CNN the changes the attacks brought to American life still reverberate across political and demographic lines. A new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS finds that 57% of Americans said the attacks impacted the way they live their life today and 68% say the attacks had an impact on Americans’ individual rights and freedoms.
While the share who said the attacks affected rights and freedoms has dropped in the last decade (an AP-NORC Poll conducted in 2011 found that 86% of Americans thought the attacks had affected individual rights and freedoms), the percentage who said 9/11 changed the way they live their lives today has held relatively steady over time.
Five years after the attacks, in 2006, an AP-Ipsos survey found a 50-50 split over whether 9/11 affected the way Americans live their lives. By 2011, 57% said their lives had been impacted by the attacks in an AP-NORC poll, and 63% felt that way two years later.
That a majority feels the attacks had some effect on the way Americans live their lives today holds across demographic and political divides, but there are some differences in the extent to which different groups feel their lives changed.
Older adults, who were 45 or older in 2001, are least likely to say the attacks had “a great deal” of impact on how they live their lives now (13% say so). Among those who were children, teenagers or not even born yet at the time of the attacks, 24% say 9/11 had a great deal of impact on their lives.
Overall, about 1 in 5 (20%) said September 11 had a great deal of impact on their life today, while 37% say it was just some impact.
The sense that the attacks affected individual rights and freedoms is also consistent across demographic divides, though Republicans (72%) are a bit more likely than Democrats (64%) to say that rights and freedoms were affected by the attacks.